Today From Bedtime Math: Putting the Fun in Fungus

Find out why these mushrooms are glowing in the dark in this tasty challenge from Bedtime Math!
By Laura Overdeck
Jul 14, 2015

Ages

3-13


Jul 14, 2015

Your child might think of mushrooms as just plain, little brown slices on pizza or a steak sandwich. But mushrooms can get way more interesting than that. The biggest mushroom ever, which broke the world record in 2014, measured almost 2 feet tall and was bigger than a person's head. But even more exciting might be the yakoh-take mushroom: it glows in the dark! This fun fungus doesn't grow to more than an inch tall and an inch wide. But when the mushrooms reach full size, they glow green for about 3 days. That's how they got their name, which means "night-light mushroom" in Japanese. Then they turn boring greyish-brown like most mushrooms…so if you want glowing pizza topping, you'd better slice 'em up fast.

Now see if you and your kids can come up with the answers to these math problems.

Wee ones:  Which is taller, a 1-foot mushroom or a 1-inch mushroom?

Little kids: How may glowing mushrooms can you count in this awesome photo? Count as high as you can!  Bonus: If the mushrooms start glowing on Tuesday at noon and glow for exactly 3 days, on what day do they stop glowing?

Big kids: Yakoh-take mushrooms like warm temperatures, growing best at 81 degrees. If your home is 72 degrees inside, how much warmer should you make it to grow yakoh-takes?  Bonus: If you can see your night-light from 12 feet away but see the mushrooms from 3 times as far, from how far can you see them?
 
Answers:
Wee ones: The 1-foot mushroom, since that's 12 inches.
Little kids: We think we see parts of up to 19 mushrooms!  Bonus: On Friday.
Big kids: 9 degrees.  Bonus: 36 feet.
 

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