In This Issue: An Elephant Dictionary; Cars of the Future
My, What Big Ears They Have
You may have heard of elephants that can paint, but have you heard that they can talk? A scientist working in Central Africa for nearly 20 years spends long days observing forest elephants—counting their numbers, monitoring their health and listening to what they have to say. Researchers at Cornell University's Elephant Listening Project are using this information to create an elephant dictionary. Most of what they say cannot be heard by humans, as the pitch is too low. Among other things, the dictionary will help conservationists monitor and protect the population of this threatened species.
The recession and rising fuel costs are driving the latest trends in the auto world. Hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient cars replaced the gas-guzzling giants of old at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. The new models, including the Tango—a slim electric car where the passenger rides behind the driver—and Toyota's tiny FT-TV (Future Toyota electric vehicle) are quite a departure for Americans who are accustomed to ruling the road. See photos from the show Activity Ideas Math - Addition, Subtraction Explain to your child that auto makers are trying to build cars that are better for the environment. One way is to create cars that need less fuel to get places. This is measured in miles per gallon (mpg), a figure that shows how many miles a car can travel on one gallon of gas. Share the following with your child; help him or her identify the number in each sentence that represents mpg.
Honda Insight EX travels 37 miles on one gallon of gas. This means it gets (37 miles per gallon).
Honda Odyssey EX can go 20 miles on one gallon.This means that it gets (20 miles per gallon).
Mini Cooper travels 33 miles on one gallon of gas. This means it gets (33 miles per gallon).
Toyota Prius IV can go44 miles on one gallon of gas. This means it gets (44 miles per gallon).
Create a descending list of the cars above, from highest (best) to lowest (worst) mpg.
Toyota Prius, 44 mpg
Honda Insight EX, 37 mpg
Mini Cooper, 33 mpg
Honda Odyssey, 20 mpg
From this list, ASK:
How far can the Prius travel on two gallons of gas? 88 miles (44 mpg + 44 mpg)
How many more miles per gallon of gas can Honda Insight travel than the Honda Odyssey? 17 mpg (37 mpg - 20 mpg)
Calculate the difference between the car with the best mileage and the car with the worst. 24 mpg (44mpg - 20 mpg)
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