Measurement (length): Baffling Bamboo

The Problem

Professor Greenfingers decided to calculate the growth rate of the moso bamboo in his garden. On Tuesday, at exactly 3:00 pm, the height of one particular bamboo stem was 2 m 34 cm. At 3:00 pm the following day, the bamboo stem measured 3 m 30 cm.

Professor Greenfingers calculated that the bamboo stem was growing at a rate of 1 cm every quarter of an hour.

Do you agree with the professor’s growth rate calculation? How do you know?

Did you know?

A panda’s diet is almost completely made up of bamboo shoots and leaves. Bamboo is not very nutritious so an adult panda must eat around 23 – 43 kg of bamboo every day to meet its energy needs.

Visualising the Problem and Getting Started

Which of the facts below might you need when deciding whether or not you agree with the professor’s growth rate calculation?

1) There are 100 centimetres in a metre.

2) There are 60 seconds in a minute.

3) There are 7 days in a week.

4) There are 24 hours in a day.