Join students Sophie, Tomás, Emma, and Marcus during Fifth Period! This STEM comic strip chronicles the exciting and often hilarious adventures of a close-knit group of four friends as they learn about science, technology, engineering, and math from their kooky, inspiring, off-the-wall science teacher, Mr. Kepler. When they're not in class, these kids love to explore the vast world of STEM on their own, launching weather balloons, programming computer games, and cataloging insects, sometimes with unpredictable and highly entertaining results!
Check back on the first and third Friday of every month for a new Fifth Period strip!
Estimating and Proportion
How did Marcus figure out so quickly that Emma had bitten off more than she could chew? Well, he already knew that the Eiffel Tower was 1,063 feet tall, so when Emma said she wanted to make a copy that was a tenth of the size, all he had to do was divide by ten, giving him 106.3 feet tall—still pretty big! The trick he used was simple: whenever you are dividing by a multiple of ten (like 100, 1,000, or 1,000,000), take the dividend (the number that is being divided) and place a decimal point as many places to the left as there are zeroes in the divisor (the number you’re dividing by). For example: 4,789 (the dividend) ÷ 100 (the divisor) = 47.89… two zeroes means two decimal places to the left!
Try it yourself!
If Emma decided she wanted to make a tower that was only one-thousandth of the size of the real thing, do you think she could build it all by herself? How many popsicle sticks do you think she has in her bucket? Do you think she’d need to use all of them to build the miniature tower, or would she still have some leftover?