Math Investigations

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Chapter 1

Part 1: For activity in Teacher's Edition, page 2

Students can practice their research skills by finding facts about the U.S. Space Camp that contain numbers used in different ways. You might also provide them with the data sheet that contains information about the U.S. Space Camp found on the Activity page (PDF file).

Have students share the posters they created.

Ask the students to give examples of numbers used to count, numbers used to measure, and numbers used to label. The following are examples from the Data Sheet.

  • The 400,000 in “400,000 campers” is a number used to count.
  • The 48 in “48 inches” is a number used to measure.
  • The zip code 35807-7015 in the mailing address of Space Camp is a number used to label.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is after Lesson 7 on place value through hundred thousands.

Introducing the Investigation

Introduce the investigation by reading aloud the newspaper article on the first page of the Description of Investigation and Student Report (PDF file). You may also have one of your students read the newspaper article aloud, or have the students read the newspaper article individually.

Put students in groups of two to four students to work on the investigation. Provide students with the Description of Investigation and Student Report (PDF file).

Doing the Investigation

Have the students share the facts they used for each category in the table. Students can look up facts or use these.

Answers for Data Sheet

The information given to the students has been categorized below to help you check their tables.

Facts with numbers where the only place in the number is the ones place

  • 6 Apollo missions have landed on the moon: Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
  • It takes about 6 hours for a Space Shuttle, aboard a crawler-transport, to make the trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad preceding a mission.
  • Each astronaut is allotted almost 4 pounds of food per day (including the 1 pound of packaging).
  • The astronauts see 1 sunrise and 1 sunset each orbit. There are 16 sunrises/sunsets every 24 hours.
  • The Space Shuttle does 0 to 17,000 mph in less than 9 minutes.

Facts with numbers where the greatest place in the number is the tens place

  • Six Apollo missions have landed on the moon: Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
  • The Space Shuttle makes a complete orbit around the Earth approximately every 90 minutes.
  • The astronauts see 1 sunrise and 1 sunset each orbit. There are 16 sunrises/sunsets every 24 hours.
  • Putting on a spacesuit takes 45 minutes.
  • There are altogether 88 official constellations.

Facts with numbers where the greatest place in the number is the hundreds place

  • A spacesuit weighs approximately 280 pounds on Earth, without an astronaut in it.
  • As of December 2002, a total of 112 missions have been flown since the first flight in April 1981.

Facts with numbers where the greatest place in the number is the thousands place

  • To apply to be an astronaut a pilot must have completed 1,000 hours of flying time in a jet aircraft.
  • The speed of gas exiting the Solid Rocket Booster motor of the Space Shuttle is 6,000 mph.
  • Ganymede, Jupiter's moon and the largest in our solar system, has a diameter of 5,262 km.
  • As of December 2002, a total of 112 missions have been flown since the first flight in April 1981.

Facts with numbers where the greatest place in the number is the ten thousands place

  • The Space Shuttle does 0 to 17,000 mph in less than 9 minutes.
  • The Space Shuttle travels about 17,600 miles per hour when orbiting the Earth.
  • The Earth's average velocity orbiting the sun is 10,220 km per hour.

Facts with numbers where the greatest place in the number is the hundred thousands place

  • The Moon is roughly 380,000 km away from Earth.
  • Io, one of Jupiter's moons, is 422,000 km from Jupiter.

Student Report

In the Student Report, students have an opportunity to write about why they would like to go to Space Camp.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3