Alpha's Adventures in Mathematics

Volume One: Chapter Four


When we last left Alpha he was settling in nicely to life at the shelter (including trips to the vet and a not-so-bad bubble bath). He explored some shapes in the bubbles and created equations to figure out how much medicine he was being given. Then, after a few months at the shelter, Alpha received some GREAT NEWS... He was headed to his forever home.

But it was still a long way off, with lots of travelling along the way. So let's get going...

Chapter 4: The Long Journey Begins

That night, after learning about my forever home, I tried to sleep.

But to say I didn’t sleep well would have been the understatement of the century. All night I kept trying to imagine what it was going to be like.

Would my forever home be happy? Would I have toys? A big backyard to run in? Would there be friends to play with? Would my new humans be kind and loving?

Or would it be a dark, scary place with mean humans where they would put me in a tiny cage and wouldn’t feed me?

And what about getting there? I knew, from the other dogs, that forever homes were in a country called Canada. I’d never heard of it, but I knew it was a long way away, across the entire world, and that to get there I was going to take all sorts of transportation including an airplane over the ocean, which is kind of like the world’s largest puddle.

Needless to say, I was quite upset about this and spent the entire night tossing and turning, wondering if I still had time to put my escape plan into action.

The next morning, I went out in the yard for the last time and said goodbye to all the friends I’d made. I found out that some of them were even coming with me, which made me really happy. I glanced at the box and plank one last time, considering my escape, but decided that I was going to be brave and see where this adventure took me.

So I headed out with EK and June, along with Henry, Carlos, and a few other dogs, and off we went to the airport.

On the way to the airport, EK and June talked about our destination, a place called Toronto, Ontario. Of course, I had no idea where Toronto was in relation to Paju, but I knew it was a long way away.

I asked Carlos where Toronto was and he didn’t know. Henry said he’d heard that it was 10,580 km away and the flight took 14 hours. And you know what I thought? This would be a great math puzzle! Plus, what a way to pass the time until we got to the airport.

So… if I knew how far Toronto was (10,580 km according to Henry) and how long it would take to travel (14 hours) I could figure out how fast the plane was going. I just had to divide the distance by the time.

10,580 km 14 hr = 755 km/hr

755 km/hr? Wow! That’s fast. I wondered how that compared to the speed of the car we were in.

Help Alpha

Alpha wants to compare how fast the plane he’ll be taking is to the car he’s currently in. Using Alpha’s method of dividing distance by time, we can use the fact that the airport is 100km away from the shelter and that it took 2 hours to get there. Knowing this, how fast is the car going?

Bonus: We can find out how much faster the plane travels than the car by dividing the speed of the plane by the speed of the car. This gives you the ratio of plane speed to car speed.

Extra Bonus: If Alpha was able to drive from Korea to Toronto on a highway with a speed limit of 100 km/hr, how long would his trip take?

(check your answers with From Pam)

From Pam

The car is travelling 100 km  ➗ 2 hr = 50km/hr

The plane travels 755 km/hr  ➗ 50 km/hr = 15.1 or about 15 times faster than the car

If Alpha could drive at 100 km/hr and the distance is 10,580 km then we would set up the equation: 

10, 580 km  ➗ 100 km/hr = 105.8 hr (or almost 4 and a half days!) 

Try At Home

Think about a trip you've taken and how you got there. It could be a trip to somewhere far and exotic or from your home to your school.

Think about how long it takes you to get there and how far way it is (hint: you can use Google Maps to find the distance).

You can then figure out how fast you travel to get there. 

Try it with different modes of transit (walking, biking, car, public transit, even an airplane).

After all the math, we soon arrived at the airport. And the next part of my journey was about to begin!

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