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Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack?

When the monarchs find the sanctuary region, they are finding an area that is 11,000 times smaller than the area the migration crosses. To put this in perspective, we asked you to find something that is 11,000 times smaller than the area of a standard football field.

Here's one way to do the math:

A standard football field measures 120 yds X 53.5 yds. First, we put the units into feet, then found the area of the football field in feet:

  • Length X Width = Area
  • Length: 120 yds X 3 ft/yd = 360 ft.
  • Width: 53.3 yds X 3 ft/yd = 159.9 ft.
  • 360 ft (Length) X 159.9 (Width) = 57,564 sq ft. (Area)
  • So, the area of the football field is 57,564 sq ft.

Next, we found the area of something that is 11,000 times smaller than the area of a football field:

  • The area of a football field (57,564 sq ft.) divided by 11,000 = 5.233 square feet.

5.233 square feet is about the size of a piece of poster board that measures 2.28 feet X 2.28 feet on both sides.


Try This!
  • Place an object that measures 2.28 feet X 2.28 feet on your school's football field. Next, make a giant map of North America to scale. Add landmarks such as your own home town, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, etc.
  • Pace out the distance, in miles, from your home town to the monarch sanctuaries. Put several landmarks you'd cross along the migration trail, to scale.


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