We’ve all been there – it’s 11:30pm and you’re starting your math homework that’s due tomorrow. You were dozing off in class and missed it when the teacher solved the practice problems on the board. This week, the staff writer from the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park explores the different stages you experience as you do math homework.
- Confidence – Hey this isn’t so bad! You’re breezing through the first couple math problems. They’re all super basic computation math problems. You just might be a genius, you think. At this rate, you might be able to fit in some Netflix before bedtime.
- Realization – The problems get harder and harder. How in the world do you integrate this? You realize that the problems are increasing in difficulty as you go along. This can’t be good…
- Confusion – What? How do I even start this problem? What do all these symbols mean? I thought this was math – why are there so many letters? I miss being in 2nd grade.
- Anger – Why wasn’t I paying attention in class? Why is this even necessary? When will we ever use this in the real world? Like I’ll be at job interview and they’ll ask me to prove that I know how to integrate.
- Grief – I guess I’ll just move out of Menlo Park and live under the Bay Bridge.
- Resistance – Not so fast, you think. You open your textbook, find the concept you’re studying, and follow the practice problems.
- Epiphany – OMG! I found the way! Wow this isn’t so bad! Hey, I might be smart after all! You move onto the next problem. Repeat from step 2.
Please don’t take this post too seriously – our staff writers just wanted to have fun with this post. In reality, anybody has the potential to be really good at math – all it takes is practice and an open mind. For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park. Practice math for third graders, visit Brighterly.com and discover your inner math genius.
image via baybridgeinfo.org
Ah Starbucks, what would we ever do without you? This week, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some Starbucks-themed math problems for you to work on. The writer of this post is currently functioning on 4 hours of sleep and a venti iced vanilla coffee from Starbucks.
- Alex from Palo Alto is accustomed to 7 hours of sleep per night. For every 30 minutes less sleep, he needs 5 ounces of coffee to function normally. If Alex got 4 hours of sleep, what size of coffee should he get at Starbucks? The sizes are tall (12 oz), grande (16 oz), and venti (20 oz). Note that Alex may have to get more than one cup of coffee.
- Angelica needs 62 more stars to get a free drink at Starbucks. Assume that two stars is equal to one dollar spent at Starbucks. If Angelica usually gets an iced latte for $3 every day, in how many days can she get a free drink?
- It’s finals season! The local Starbucks next to a large university sees a 30% increase in sales during finals week. If the usual sales are $1,000 per day, how much will the Starbucks earn during one day in finals season?
- Katie is the most efficient barista that Starbucks has ever seen. If she can serve one customer every 30 seconds (take an order, charge, and make the order), how many customers can she serve during her 5-hour shift, assuming she only takes one 10-minute break? (Katie is a superstar)
We hope that you enjoyed solving these fun Starbucks-themed math problems. For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via quora.com
This post goes out especially to our second semester seniors here in Atherton! Now that you’ve finished applying to colleges, this is your time to loosen up a bit and enjoy the rest of the time you’ve got with your high school friends. We compiled tips from our college instructors about how best to enjoy your last semester of high school!
- Go on one last big adventure! Grab your best friends and do something you guys have always talked about, whether it’s that road trip to LA or that Lady Gaga concert. Plan early so that everyone’s on the same page!
- Spend some time with your family! If you’re going off to college away from Atherton, this may be the last time you live with your family for a while! Savor your family dinners, have some quality conversations with your family, and be extra nice to them! They’ll miss you!
- Cut yourself some slack. We’re not telling you to cut class or not complete every assignment, but we’re saying that it’s okay to relax a little. You’ve worked hard for the last couple of years, and now that your college apps are sent in, it’s okay to have some other priorities. Focus on doing the things you love with the people you love.
- At the same time, don’t completely ditch school. Keep in mind that colleges can rescind you if your grades slack *too* much (but by an extraordinary amount). Definitely keep doing your work, studying for those tests, and doing well on your APs.
We hope that these tips are helpful for all our second semester seniors. For more fun ways to learn in the Atherton area, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via edtosavetheworld.com
We hope that you had a great time celebrating the New Year’s holiday, Portola Valley! In celebration of the holiday, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park came up with some New Year’s holiday party themed math problems. If you can, try solving these problems in your head to practice your mental math skills.
New Year’s Math Problems
- Samantha is throwing a New Year’s Party in her Portola Valley home, and is inviting 20 of her friends. She buys party streamers for $10, party cups for $0.50 each, drinks for $10 per bottle, and snacks for $1 per unit. Assume that each party guest will use 2 cups, 0.1 drink bottle, and 3 snacks. How much money will she spend to prep for her party?
- James is on his way to a holiday party in Portola Valley, but for some reason, there’s traffic on Highway 280! If he’s 10 miles away from the party venue, and traffic is moving at an average speed of 20 miles per hour, will he get to the party in time for the ball drop? Assume that it’s currently 11:15pm.
- Priyanka wants to call her family in England to wish them a happy new year. If England is 8 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time, and Priyanka wants to call right when it becomes midnight in England, at what time should Priyanka call her relatives?
We hope that you enjoyed solving these New Year’s-themed math problems. For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park. Enjoy the rest of your holidays!
image via balldrop.com
Our Menlo Park students are prepared for New Year’s, which is happening next week! The staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled their New Year’s Resolutions, which are shared in this post.
- Run 10 miles a week! One of our instructors plans to get into better shape in the upcoming year by running a total of 10 miles per week. The instructor has researched plenty of running routes in the Menlo Park area.
- Conquer the SAT! One of our instructors is preparing to tackle the SAT, America’s college entrance exam. He plans to study his SAT prep books each weekend until the test this summer.
- Earn a driver’s license! A couple of our instructors are old enough to drive, but don’t have their licenses yet! They plan to schedule an appointment at the DMV and undergo the driver’s test this year.
- Learn a foreign language! One of our instructors is already learning Spanish at a Menlo Park high school, but plans to learn a new foreign language! She is debating between Japanese and Korean.
- Publish a paper in a scientific journal! One of our instructors, currently in college, works in a scientific lab in his free time. He hopes to make progress on his current project and to publish a paper this year!
- Study abroad! Another one of our college instructors, from Menlo Park, hopes to study abroad for a semester or during the summer. He’s currently debating between Spain and Argentina, where he hopes to practice his Spanish.
We hope that you found these New Year’s Resolutions interesting! For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via health.com
We’re deep in the holiday season here in Palo Alto, which means that it’s time for lots and lots of baking! This week, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park found a recipe for gingerbread cookies via food.com. Cooking is a great real-life practical application of the math skills you’ve learned at Mathnasium! Remember to cook under adult supervision!
Each recipe makes 24 cookies. The whole process should take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- 3cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2teaspoons baking powder
- 3⁄4teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4teaspoon salt
- 1tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 3⁄4teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4teaspoon ground cloves
- 6tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3⁄4cup dark brown sugar
- 1large egg
- 1⁄2cup molasses
- 2teaspoons vanilla
- 1teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
- In a large bowl (KitchenAid’s great for this) beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
- Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
- Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 deg. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
- (Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but in this case it should be refrigerated. Return to room temp before using.) Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
- Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
- Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
- Cut out cookies with desired cutter– the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
- Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies– very good!).
- Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
- After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
- I usually brush them with a powdered sugar glaze when I am in a hurry, but they look wonderful decorated with Royal icing.
We hope you enjoyed trying out this gingerbread cookie recipe! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via foodnetwork.com
Now that we’re nearing the winter holidays, many of our Atherton students are going to Lake Tahoe with family and friends to ski or snowboard. This week, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park came up with a couple of Lake Tahoe-themed math problems for our Atherton students to work on! Try doing these computation practice problems in your head if you can!
- Janine is at a ski rental to prepare for her weekend at Lake Tahoe. The ski rental place charges a flat fee of $60, and an additional fee of $15 per day after the first day. If Janine is planning to rent a ski from Friday to Sunday, how much will the rented skis cost her?
- Matthew and his family are driving from Atherton to Lake Tahoe. They want to arrive at their Lake Tahoe ski resort by 12pm for a half-day of skiing. If their resort is 200 miles away from their Atherton home, and they drive at an average speed of approximately 60 miles per hour, what time should the family leave their home?
- At Crystalline Creek Ski Resort, Jamie is taking the Bear Paw Ski Lift. On the lift, Jamie looks at a map to determine the different ways she can ski down the mountain. From the top of the mountain, there are 5 different ways to ski halfway down the mountain. All 5 paths converge at the halfway point. At the halfway point, there are 6 different ways to ski down to the bottom of the mountain. How many possible combinations are there to ski down the mountain?
We hope that you had fun trying out these Lake Tahoe-themed math problems! For more fun ways to learn math in the Atherton area, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via tahoesouth.com
Love it or hate it, Black Friday happened last week right after Thanksgiving here in Menlo Park. Whether you camped out in front of your favorite store to grab those deals, or stayed home to sleep off all that Thanksgiving turkey, we hope that you were happy with your decision! This week, the staff at the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park compiled some Black Friday-themed math problems for you to practice with. In addition, if you can, try to solve these math problems in your head for arithmetic practice!
Black Friday-Themed Math Problems
- Joseph wants to buy a TV at Walmart on Black Friday. If the TV usually costs $3,000, but there is a 30% discount on Black Friday, how much will he end up paying for the TV? Assume that a 7.5% tax is added after the discount.
- A big department store in Menlo Park is staggering the times in which customers may enter the store on Black Friday. Every 15 minutes, the store lets in an additional 80 customers. If the store starts letting people in at 5:30am, and closes at 10:30pm the same day, how many people will have visited the store?
- Maria wants to buy a new radio on Black Friday. Fortunately, she gets to the store just in time to see that there is one radio left! However, she spots the radio at the same time that another customer sees the same radio. If Maria is 100 feet away from the radio, and can run at 10 feet/second, and the other customer is 90 feet away, and can run at 8 feet/second, who will snatch the radio first?
We hope that you enjoyed solving these Black Friday-themed math problems! For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via wikipedia.org
Last week, one of our staff members from Portola Valley went to Florida for Thanksgiving Break! This week, our staff members came up with some Florida-themed math practice problems for you to solve! Take out a pencil and a sheet of paper, or try solving these math problems in your head!
Florida-Themed Math Problems:
- On Miami Beach, there’s a high of 72 degrees on Monday, 74 degrees on Tuesday, 74 degrees on Wednesday, 75 degrees on Thursday, and 78 degrees on Friday. What’s the mean, median, and mode of the weekday temperatures on Miami Beach?
- Jamison from Portola Valley is visiting his grandparents in Port St. Lucie, Florida. If his flight leaves from SFO at 3:30pm, and his flight is 5 hours and 30 minutes long, when will he arrive at Miami International Airport? Don’t forget the three hour time difference between California and Florida!
- Vaughn is on a roadtrip across the Florida panhandle from Jacksonville to Pensacola. Due to the boring drive, he’s playing the license plate game with her sister Diane. During their trip, they see license plates from the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. What percent of the 50 states were represented in the license plates that Vaughn and Diane spotted?
- Stanley is stuck in traffic on the I-95 in Fort Lauderdale. If traffic is moving at an average speed of 15 miles per hour, and Stanley is driving to Miami, which is 10 miles away, at what time will he arrive? It is currently 5:36pm, and he has a dinner party at 6pm. How late will he arrive?
We hope that you enjoyed trying these Florida-themed math problems! For more fun ways to learn math around Portola Valley, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via tripadvisor.com
Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you’re staying home with your family or travelling far away, the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park wishes you a happy, relaxing Thanksgiving holiday! In this week’s blog post, a Mathnasium staff member writes about what he is most thankful for.
What I’m Thankful For
- I can’t express how thankful I am for my mom, dad, and brother. They’re the kindest, funniest, most insightful human beings I’ve ever known, and they’ve supported me unconditionally through my most vulnerable moments. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing, one-of-a-kind family.
- Going to school in New York City. Since the 8th grade, I’ve dreamed of leaving Palo Alto and going to college in New York City. I worked really hard throughout high school and gained the opportunity to attend my dream school. I love living in New York City, of being surrounded by so many interesting, driven people, of having world-class art and all sorts of food just a subway ride away.
- I’m super thankful for my eclectic group of friends. My friends are all super different, but they all share the qualities of being hilarious, thoughtful, and genuine. My friends got me through my difficult transition first into college, through all the jokes, advice, and late nights that we’ve shared. I’m so thankful for all our weekday dinners, weekend trips to Brooklyn, and unexpected texts and messages.
At Mathnasium this week, we strongly urge you to think about what you’re personally thankful for in your own life, and to acknowledge the people you love by letting them know how much you appreciate them. We’ll see you all next week, Palo Alto! For more fun ways to learn, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.
image via foodnetwork.com