Things To Do This Summer

Palo Alto and Menlo Park schools are well into second semester, with summer just over the horizon. It’s never too early to start planning for the summer! Although the summer is inarguably a time to relax and spend with friends and family, it’s always a good idea to get ahead academically during this period of no-school!

Summer Math Tutor / Tutoring

Here are some Mathnasium tips for you to have fun this summer!

1. Go on a road trip with your friends and family! Drive to Los Angeles, Portland, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a city on the East Coast! While you’re driving, you’ll invariably bond with the other people in your car. Make sure to enjoy the famous landmarks and the diverse landscapes that the United States offers. And of course, don’t forget to play the license plate game! See how many states you can spot!

2. Read some books! Go to your local library or bookstore, and find books that relate with things that you’re genuinely interested in. Since this reading is strictly for leisure, and not for school, you have the power to choose your own reading material! Over the summer, try to read lots of books in different genres. My personal favorite is “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo!

3. Go to summer camp! There’s nothing more American than sitting around a campfire with your buddies, unwinding after a long day of hiking and swimming! Although many of us think of nature camps, there are also camps for many different activities and interests! Think about programming camp or debate camp!

4. Spend some time at Mathnasium! We’ll have plenty of fun math activities and events planned for you this summer! By spending some time at Mathnasium, you’ll be well-prepared for the coming academic year!

Have fun this summer!

Bucket List for the Summer (College Style)

The writer of this blog post (who will rename anonymous) is graduating high school in June of this year! He/she is planning to go off to college in the fall, meaning that the summer of 2016 will be the final transition between high school and college!

Summer Math Tutor / Tutoring

The summer before college is supposed to be one of self-discovery and adventure! With that in mind, here’s my bucket list for the summer…

1) Travel! I have relatives in Paris (France), Vancouver (Canada), and Melbourne (Australia). I’d love to visit one of these places this summer, live with them for some time, and explore their respective cities! For this coming summer, I’m currently leaning more towards Australia (since I’ve never visited) and France (since I want to practice my French).

2) Continue practicing my foreign languages! Foreign languages are a huge hobby of mine, and I’m planning to be a comparative literature major in college! Just for fun, and maybe to study a bit for the college language placement tests, I’m planning to practice the languages I speak this summer. Specifically, I want to review and improve my Hindi and Spanish (two languages I’m planning to study in college), Chinese (my language of heritage), and French (a language I started learning for fun this year). Without the obligations of schoolwork, I’ll definitely have a lot more free time to work on languages this summer!

3) Read! There are so many good books I haven’t read, and this summer seems like a perfect time to start them! Specifically, I want to finish Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and read more works by Virginia Woolf and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I also want to read some more contemporary novels. I can definitely imagine myself reading at the beach this summer!

4) Work more! I’ll definitely spend more time at Mathnasium, tutoring kids and helping out at the center! I’d like to take advantage off the summer to save up some money for college!

The activities I listed above are among those listed on my bucket list for the summer! What do you want to accomplish this summer?

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

Cool for the Summer (Math Version)

It’s only March, but we’re all super excited for the summer already! Even though we’re just daydreaming, let’s use the opportunity to do some math problems (with a summer theme)! One thing we all love about the summer are those catchy summertime songs! See if you can recognize any of the summer hits in the following math problems!

Summer Math Tutor / Tutoring

1. “Cool for the Summer” by Demi Lovato is around 3 minutes long. If you listened to this song nonstop for the entire summer, how many times would it be replayed? (Assume your summer vacation is 10 weeks long).

2. You have 592 songs on your iPod. If you put your iPod on shuffle, what are the odds that you’ll listen to the summer classic “California Sun” by the Rivieras, followed by “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper? (no calculator!)

3. You love to listen to music while you’re running! If you decide to go jogging for 30 minutes, how many songs will you be able to listen to? Look up your favorite summer hits and add up their times!

Challenge Problem: Being bored over the summer, Maxwell decides to go to a concert! During the concert, he is seated at a relatively close distance to the stage. During the concert, the singer throws some free merchandise out into the audience, right in Maxwell’s direction! If the singer throws the merch at a 59 degree angle over vertical, what’s the initial velocity at which the singer must launch the merchandise so that it reaches Maxwell? Assume that Maxwell is 130 feet away from the singer, and that the two of them are standing at the same elevation. (You may need to use some physics equations to solve this problem!) ‘

We hope that these summer-themed math problems reminded you of sunnier days! For more fun ways to learn about math, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

Snow Trip for Palo Alto

A fun thing to do during the early spring months is to take a short trip from Palo Alto up to Tahoe for some skiing, snowboarding and sledding! The fresh powder is always fun to play in, and provides the perfect arena for some family fun.


While you are on the slopes with your children, ask them these math questions:

1) If you can go 8 mph on your skis, and you want to reach the bottom of the mountain by 5 pm, how many minutes earlier do you have to leave if the mountain run is 3 miles long?

2) The outside temperature is 12 degrees Fahrenheit (much colder than here in Palo Alto). Covert this to Celsius! You can do this by subtracting 32, and then diving by 1.8

3) You are at the cafe for a short lunch break, and you want to order some pizza and fries. If a slice of pizza costs $4.50 and fries cost $2.75, how much change will you get back if you pay with a $10 bill?

We hope you have fun in the snow, Palo Alto! Enjoy the weekend, but don’t forget to come visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park once you come back home; we want to hear all about your adventures in the snow! For many fun ways to learn math in the Palo Alto area, visit The Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

President’s Day Math in Palo Alto

Palo Alto students celebrated President’s Day with a long weekend! Many students slept-in, binged on Netflix, and even went skiing in Tahoe. To celebrate President’s Day, Mathnasium’s releasing these President’s Day-themed problems for local Palo Alto students. Enjoy these problems to practice your basic calculus skills!

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1. To celebrate President’s Day, the City of Palo Alto decides to throw a parade! The function that expresses the displacement of a float is f(x) = x^2 + 3x + 5, where x represents time in seconds. Find the acceleration of the float at 2 seconds. (Hint: acceleration is the second derivative of the displacement function).

2. George Washington and his soldiers are in a boat, rowing across the Delaware River. If the velocity function can be written as v(x)=3x^2 + 2, what is the displacement function? Write your answer as an indefinite integral.

3. To celebrate President’s Day, local Palo Alto resident Ms. Walters has decided to throw a block party for her neighborhood! After visiting her local Palo Alto grocery store, she has calculated the costs of 2 food combinations for the party. 6 racks of ribs and 5 pies will cost $30. 7 racks of ribs and 2 ribs will cost $50. How much does 1 rack of ribs and 1 pie cost?

We hope that you had fun trying out these President’s Day-themed math problems!