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Just the Facts, Please

So much data exists...That is, we are surrounded by data...and where there is data, there are opportunities to create mathematical problems.

Consider these pieces of interesting data:

  • The average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long before it runs out of lead.
  • The average 17-year-old in the U.S. has eight teeth that are missing, decayed, or have fillings.
  • Every day Americans use over three billion gallons of water in homes, factories, and farms...eight times as much as the amount of water that flows down the Mississippi River in a day.
  • An average of 34 people are killed by fires every day in the U.S....and every day fire destroys an average of 1609 homes, 378 apartments, 211 stores, 70 farm buildings, 66 schools, 53 restaurants, 11 factories, and 11 churches.
  • Every year, Americans consume over two billion soft drinks in cans, four billion pounds of candy, and 200 million pounds of salted peanuts.
  • You breathe about 3,500 gallons of air every day.
  • More babies are born at 4 a.m. than any other time....plus more people dies between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. than any other time.
Your Task: Use these interesting gems of data to write (and solve) new problems. Share them with others and compare your respective creative slants.

NOTE: You might want to even check on the validity of each piece of data (and adjust them?)...especially once you see the publication date of the source of these pieces of data.

Source: F. Munat's FACTS-ination, 1976