Note: These Challenge Questions coincide with the Spring 2004 Reports

From: by way of Elizabeth Howard Journey North (lthurber@anwsu.k12.vt.us)
Date: Wed Feb 25 2004 - 09:40:29 EST

• Next message: Gayle McGehee: "paper clip experiment/challenge question 4"

"If the typical monarch weighs 500 mg in midwinter, how much would a branch loaded with 15,000 butterflies weigh? (Give your answer in kilograms and in pounds. Also name another object that weighs the same amount, for comparison.)"

First, we multiplied the weight of a monarch by the number of butterflies. That gave us an answer of 7500,000 mg. There are 1000 mg in a gram so the butterflies weighed 7,500 grams. There are a 1000 grams in a kilogram. So there are 7.5 kilograms of butterflies on the branch. There are about 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. So there are about 16.5 pounds of butterflies on one branch.

We found a few things that weight about 16.5 pounds. You could buy 128 Star War Action figures and that would weight about 16.5 pounds. Two newborn babies would also weight that much. You could also have 4 ibooks, or 3 bags of flour, or a partly filled box of computer paper.

It is funny to think that a butterfly - that only weighs as much as a paper clip - could cause a branch to bend or break. Sometimes we have heavy ornaments at Christmas that make our branches bend!

Jack, Kris, Andrew, Charlie, Mary, Ashley, and Jennifer