Lady Gaga Concert Math In Portola Valley

The staff writer writing this week’s blog post loves listening to Lady Gaga, who is currently on her Joanne world tour. To celebrate her current tour, this week’s Mathnasium math problems will be dedicated to Lady Gaga’s music. If you find these math problems easy, try doing them in your head!

Lady Gaga Themed Practice Problems

  1. Jackson from Portola Valley wants to buy $250 concert tickets to see Lady Gaga when she sings in the Bay Area! Jackson’s parents told him that he can go to the concert if he earns the money for the tickets himself. If Jackson works as a cashier at the local grocery store and earns $15 an hour (and pays 8% in tax), how many hours must he work to afford those tickets?
  2. Jenny’s favorite Lady Gaga songs are Just Dance, Summer Boy, and Highway Unicorn, in that order. While she’s driving to her Portola Valley high school, if she’s listening to her Lady Gaga playlist on shuffle, which contains 30 Lady Gaga songs, what is the probability that these songs are played in that specific order? Assume that the shuffle function doesn’t repeat songs.
  3. Sylvia from Portola Valley is going to Lady Gaga’s Joanne World Tour concert in the Bay Area with her two best friends, Alejandro and Judy. Sylvia plans to pick up her two friends and to carpool to the concert, which starts at 7:30pm. It takes Sylvia 10 minutes to drive to Alejandro’s house in Menlo Park and 15 minutes to drive from Alejandro’s house to Judy’s house in Palo Alto. The concert venue is an hour away from Judy’s house. What time do you recommend that Sylvia leave from her house? (It might be a good idea for her to leave a bit earlier than it normally takes to drive to those places!)

We hope that you had fun solving these Lady Gaga-themed math problems! For more fun ways to learn math in the Portola Valley area, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

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College Application Tips For Menlo Park Students

If you’re a senior at a Menlo Park high school, chances are you’re stressing out about college applications right around now. The college application process is long and daunting, but also exciting. You have the opportunity to choose where you’ll live for the next four years, what kinds of subjects you’d like to study, and the type of college life that you’d like to lead. In this week’s post, the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some tips for a successful college application.

  1. Cast a wide net. Make sure that you apply to a wide range of schools, from your reaches to your matches to your safeties. No matter how confident you are about your abilities, it’s never a good idea to only apply to highly selective schools, such as the Ivies. At the same time, don’t underestimate your abilities and only apply to your safety schools. It’s a good idea to apply to at least a couple of safeties and a couple of reaches.
  2. Spend time on your essays. Even if the deadline is months away, you should start drafting your essays now! The most successful essays take multiple drafts and hours of editing. When you have a final draft that you feel confident about, find your favorite English teacher and have them read over your application essays.
  3. Make sure you ask for your recommendation letters early! If you haven’t done so already, ask for your recommendation letters within the next week or two. Teachers are incredibly busy, and are willing to take multiple hours writing recommendation letters for their students. Give them ample time to write yours.
  4. Also relating to recommendation letters, put together a document compiling your background information, and hand this to your teacher. Include the classes you’ve taken, your extracurricular activities, what you’re looking for in a college, etc. This background information is extraordinarily helpful for teachers when they’re writing letters about you.

We hope that you found some of these tips helpful! We realized that most of our advice regarding college applications is just common sense, which says a lot about the process. As long as you’re hard-working, patient, and organized, you’ll see great results come decision day. Good luck!

For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

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Atherton Pumpkin Spice Math

We’re nearing autumn in Atherton, and you know what that means – pumpkin spice season! Here are some pumpkin spice themed math problems compiled by the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

  1. The local Starbucks in Atherton is bringing out its famed pumpkin spice lattes. 40% more customers visit the store during pumpkin spice season. If the store sees 200 people per day on average, how many customers would you predict in the store on a given day during pumpkin spice season?
  2. The most popular pie shop in Atherton sells pumpkin pies in autumn, from September 1 to December 1 (about 14 weeks). Assume that it takes $250 to make 100 pumpkin pies, and that the shop sells 50 pies a week. If each pie is sold for $8, what was the pumpkin pie profit of the shop?
  3. At Atherton elementary schools, students decorate pumpkins for the annual Halloween Haunt festival. Assume that over the course of 2 weeks, two students can finish decorating 1 pumpkin. How many students and how many weeks (count each week for every student) would it take to decorate 50 pumpkins?
  4. During the Halloween Haunt festival, an Atherton tradition, students participate in the cakewalk. There are 20 spots in the cakewalk. When a student is randomly picked, s/he receives one cake and leaves the cakewalk without being replaced. Three friends, Mary, Jane, and Mary-Jane participate in the cakewalk with 17 of their classmates. What is the probability that all three of them win a cake?
  5. Mary-Jane’s brother is also participating in the cakewalk. If four people win cakes, what is the probability that he wins a cake?

We hope that you were able to brush up on your basic math skills with these problems. For more ways to learn and practice math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

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Stress Reduction For Palo Alto Students

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Now that the school year is starting in Palo Alto, it’s important for students to start creating healthy habits that will last them the whole year. Our Palo Alto schools are renowned for their high quality of instruction and impressive achievement, and you’re guaranteed to learn a lot this year! However, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking care of your mental health and have reliable strategies to reduce stress. Here are some tips that the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park compiled for a healthy, happy year.

Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle:
  1. Create a playlist of music that you love! Studies have shown that classical music not only reduces stress, but also helps students concentrate better during certain tasks. Even if you’re not a fan of Beethoven or Chopin, listen to your favorite artists whenever you’re feeling down. Memorize the lyrics to your favorite songs and sing them to yourself (or out loud if you can). It’ll be a chance for you to do something pleasant and mindlessly.
  2. Exercise! If you have writer’s block, are stuck on a math problem, or just feel stressed, exercise to clear your own mind! Palo Alto offers plenty of nature (such as the Bol Park track behind Gunn High School or the Dish near Stanford), which are great running routes. You can also swim in your local pool, play catch with a couple friends, or even just do a few push-ups in your room.
  3. Count on those who support you! If you’re feeling stressed, talk with the people whom you feel most comfortable around. Joke around with your friends, vent to your siblings, ask your mom for advice – it always helps knowing that you can always depend on the people you’re closest to. Make sure to maintain those super-important interpersonal relationships even when you’re stressed with schoolwork.

We hope that you take care of yourself this year! For more academic help, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

Back-To-School College Math For Portola Valley

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Last week, the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park published some back-to-school themed math practice problems for K-12 students. This week, the staff compiled some more math practice problems, this time with the theme of back-to-school for college students. We hope that our Portola Valley K-12 students will enjoy this sneak-peak into their future college careers. If you’re a more advanced student, try solving these in your head.

  1. Mary, a biology major at UC Berkeley from Portola Valley, needs to purchase a biology textbook for the upcoming year. She can either buy it wholesale from the bookstore for $150 or rent a used textbook for $80. How much would she save by renting rather than buying? (Express your answer as a percentage).
  2. Louis, a Portola Valley resident who now attends college in Washington state, must purchase a meal plan for the upcoming school year. He may choose from Meal Plan A ($1,500 for 15 meals a week), Meal Plan B ($2,000 for 20 meals a week), and Meal Plan C ($1,100 for 7 meals a week). Which of these meal plans will give him the best bang for his buck (cheapest cost per meal). Assume that the meal plan applies for 30 weeks.
  3. Georgia, from Portola Valley, will be an incoming freshman at USC in the fall! She wants to sell her used SAT prep books to current high schoolers. Georgia originally bought the prep book for $35, but will sell it for $15. How much will she lose from sale? (Express your answer as a percentage).
  4. Most of the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park are either high school or college students. Assume that there are 30 instructors and 1/3 of them go off to college in the fall. Afterwards, the center attracts 20 new instructor applications and hires 75% of them. How many instructors does the center have now?

For more fun ways to learn math, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

Menlo Park Back-To-School Shopping Math


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It’s back-to-school season here in Menlo Park! Students and their parents are in a frenzy to buy supplies for the upcoming year, and stores around Menlo Park are in the midst of their annual back-to-school sales! Shopping involves a lot of math, and as a result, our practice math problems this week have a back-to-school theme. Try out these problems in your free time to prep for your first day of math class.

  1. The local Menlo Park pencil shop is offering 30% off purchases of $20 or more! If Jenny purchases 10 pencils for $0.50 each, 3 notebooks for $3.75 each, and 1 pencil sharpener for $10, will she qualify for the discount? How much will she end up paying for her supplies? Assume that an 8.75% tax is added after the discount.
  2. Usually, S-Mart in Menlo Park serves on average 550 customers per day. During the back-to-school season, there is a 25% increase in customers. If each customer spends on average $10, how much extra profit does S-Mart earn per day during back-to-school season?
  3. Jamie is trying to estimate the amount of binder paper she needs for the upcoming semester. She realizes that the year before, she used 3 pieces of binder paper per school day for English class, 4 pieces of binder paper per school day for math class, 2 pieces of binder paper per school day for her science classes, and 2 pieces of binder paper per school day for her Spanish class. Assuming that she uses binder paper at the same rate this year, and that a school year is 180 days long, how many pieces of binder paper will she use up this year?
  4. Students in Menlo Park get a 15% discount at Gilroy Co., the clothing store that middle schoolers find the coolest. Adam finds a T-shirt for $20 and a pair of jeans for $30. If Adam goes to school in Menlo Park, how much will he end up paying for his new clothes?

We hope you were able to review some of your basic math with these problems. The staff at The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park wishes you a happy, productive back-to-school transition!

We’re Nearing The End Of Summer Vacation In Palo Alto!

Now that we’re nearing the middle of August, many of our Palo Alto students are lamenting the end of summer vacation! The Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park has a couple suggestions for our students to make the most out of the rest of summer vacation, and to get a jump-start for the year!

  1. Go on one last memorable adventure with your friends! Get together with your friends to go on a hike, visit the city, or hang out at the beach! Soon, you’ll be busy with schoolwork, and the weather will start cooling down. Now’s your last chance to do something that you’ve wanted to do this summer, but have been too busy/lazy to do!
  2. Read a book! Visit your local Palo Alto library, browse through the selections, and pick a book that interests you! You might not have as much time during the school year to read for pleasure, as many of the books you’ll be reading will be assigned for you.
  3. Adjust your sleep schedule back to normal as soon as possible! Have you been sleeping super late and getting up even later? Don’t worry – happens to the best of us! Rather than frantically re-adjusting your sleep schedule the last night, stagger your sleeping time earlier and earlier until you reach your normal school year bedtime!

Schools in Palo Alto start soon, but we hope this article will help you make the most out of the time you have left! For more tips and strategies for the new year, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

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Happy August, Atherton!

August is finally upon us! This is an exciting month full of changes for many students, as it signals the last few weeks of summer and the transition into the academic year for most school districts. Summer is currently still in full swing in Atherton, and we hope that your children are continuing to have a fun, relaxing time with family and friends. In honor of the start of the month, we at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park wanted to share 8 fun facts–in honor of this eighth month of the year–about August.

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1. The August birthstones are the peridot and the sardonyx.

2. The August zodiac signs are Leo (July 23rd – August 22nd) and Virgo (August 23rd – September 22nd).

3. The August birth flowers are the gladiolus and the poppy.

4. August is National Golf Month.

5. August is also National Family Fun Month! Get out of Atherton and do something extra special with your children this month!

6. Colorado became the 38th state to join the U.S. on August 1st, 1876.

7. August 26th is Women’s Equality Day.

8. The first Sunday of every August is Friendship Day.

Hopefully, at least a few of these facts provided something new and interesting for your children to learn. We hope that you and your family have a wonderful month in Atherton, and we’re looking forward to working with your children at the center to prepare for the upcoming school year! For more fun ways to learn math, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

Pizza in Menlo Park: Tasty Math Fun

Pizza is undoubtedly one of America’s most beloved dishes. Warm, filling, and easily customized to a wide variety of tastes and preferences, it’s widely enjoyed by all–for lunch, dinner and sometimes even breakfast. People always want pizza, whether it’s a blazing hot summer day or a freezing cold winter night. Luckily, Menlo Park has many popular pizza places open year-round, including Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, Applewood Pizza, and Round Table Pizza. We hope that if you haven’t yet, you will take your children to try out at least one of these delicious spots!

In honor of the delicious dish, we at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park have 5 pizza-related math problems for you this week. Hopefully, your children can try out a few–and hopefully be challenged–while enjoying a slice.

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1. Miranda’s pizza shop in Menlo Park sells slices for $1.25 a piece. It costs her shop $0.45 to make each slice. Miranda just got in an order for 100 slices. How much profit will she make from this order?

2. Valerie can make 5 pizzas an hour, and Zachary can make 6 pizzas an hour. How long will it take them to make 60 pizzas together if they work at the same time?

3. At Mel’s pizza place in Menlo Park, there are 3 different types of crusts, 4 different types of sauce, and 12 different toppings to choose from. If Jamie wants a pizza with one type of crust, one type of sauce, and one topping, how many unique combinations could she choose from?

4. Shay is dining at a pizza place, and her bill comes out to $24.50 before tip. She wants to give a 20% tip, and she has $30 in her wallet. Does she have enough to pay for this meal, or does she have to give a smaller tip?

5. Rob and his 8 friends are eating at a pizza place where the pizzas have 6 slices each. How many full pizzas will they need to buy if they each want to eat 3 slices? How many pieces will be left over?

We at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park hope you enjoyed these tasty pizza math problems! For more fun ways to learn math, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

Beat the Palo Alto Heat

It’s the hottest period of the year, and sometimes being outside for long can get too hot and tiring–even in Palo Alto. We at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park wanted to provide you and your children with some fun, simple, and even educational ways to beat the heat and stay cool during Palo Alto’s summer heat.

Math Tutor / Tutoring - Palo Alto, CA - Mathnasium1. Go for a swim! There are many gyms and public centers in Palo Alto where you can have fun in a pool, including the YMCA, Rinconada Pool, and the Eichler Swim and Tennis Club. Swimming is a great form of exercise that keeps children active yet cool.

2. Read in the library! Palo Alto has 5 spacious, cool libraries where children can read, browse the Internet, and even play games. This free, educational activity is sure to keep kids out of the sun for hours.

3. Host a game night at home! Have your children’s friends come over for board and card games. This way, they’ll stay just as entertained and excited as if they were playing games outside, but they’ll be in the comfort of your own home.

4. Go for ice cream or similar treats! Palo Alto has a number of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and pearl milk tea shops that you can take your children for a cool, relatively inexpensive snack. Favorite places throughout Palo Alto include Rick’s Ice Cream, Baskin Robbins, Yogurtland, Pinkberry, and Teaspoon.

5. Make your own popsicles! Buy popsicle molds at any grocery store in Palo Alto, and then pour any juice of your choice into them and freeze. It’s a simple, inexpensive activity that kids can do on their own.

We at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park hope that you’ll try out some of these ideas, and that you’ll have a fun time doing so! For a productive, educational way to stay out of the sun, schedule a visit to our air-conditioned center anytime this summer. And for more fun ways to learn math, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.