For years, Tootsie Pop commercials have been raising a question whose answer is important to every child, and that question is “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” As the child thinks about this question and views the iconic Mr. Owl bite the Tootsie Pop, the commercial tells the child “the world may never know.”
After years of the same question pestering people all over the world, scientists have finally been able to find the answer!
Scientists have found that it takes about 1000 licks to get to the center of a lollipop, and they used math and fluid flowing models to figure this out! Researchers at New York University created their own candy spheres (Tootsie Pops) and cylinders (Jolly Ranchers) and tested how the materials dissolved!
They found that a lollipop would take about 1000 licks! Of course, real world factors would affect the number, but this number is the closest anyone has ever been!
To learn more about the experiment, read more here!
Math may not be everyone’s favorite subject, but it surely is one of the most important subjects! Without math, there would be no science, technology, or engineering! That means that cell phones, computers, and even bicycles would cease to exist! Luckily, there are organizations that help make math fun! STEM-Works aims to get people interested in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, but each of these areas involves one or more math skills. On STEM-Works, you can find articles about mathematical application in genetics, face and speech recognition technology, and computer science and engineering!
Another organization that focuses on math is Bedtime Math! “Bedtime Math is a nonprofit that helps kids love math as much as playtime or dessert, so they embrace it in school and excel at it.” Read more about Bedtime Math here!
Math is knowledge, and knowledge is power, so according to the transitive property of mathematics, math is power!
On Saturday, January 31st, Dallas Independent School District hosted their second annual STEM Day! The mission of this event was for middle school students to “explore science in new ways, experience technology in different applications, engage in engineering activities, and embrace the fun in mathematics!”
To accomplish this mission, different organizations hosted different activity sessions. The Caruth Institute for Engineering Education hosted two activities: “How to Find Your Unique Fingerprint” and “Design a Lower-Leg Prosthesis”.
During the “How to Find Your Unique Fingerprint” session, students learned how to dust for fingerprints using Kool Aid and paintbrushes. They then analyzed their own fingerprints. After this, students used balloons and ink pads to inspect the distinct characteristics of everyone’s fingerprints. This helped them understand how fingerprints can be used for identification purposes.
During the “Design a Lower-Leg Prosthesis” session, students were told to go through the design process for building a prosthetic leg to function as a replacement for a lower leg. During the design process, students selected materials, assessed the movement requirements including flexibility and degree of motion, and assessed support requirements. They explored the design process and were able to understand each step, and exactly how each step plays an important role in the building process.
STEM Day 2015 was fun for both, the students and the presenters, and they are impatiently waiting for next year!