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Challenge Questions

Classroom Responses

Philip and DMackson (dad) who came up with 1089 feet
and to Chris Rowan's students, Roxanna Muniz and Susan Rico,
who came up with 1080 feet.

We also want to recognize Mr. Grott, Mrs. Phaneuf, and Mrs.
Grady's classes for having the motivation to dig in and
do some very rigorous brain teasing thinking! Nice effort!

Token prices will be on their way to Philip and Mr.
Rowan's students very soon!


These are the responses sent in for the first week's
MTO Challenge Question:


To: jwee@mail.arc.nasa.gov

My son Philip who is 8 and in third grade (we home school) has
been reading a lot about space recently. His first answer to
your question was 820 feet. When pressed for the reason he said
it was because Mars is half the size of earth. In talking about
it further it seems that he read also that his weight on Mars is
about 1/2  that of earth. He got his books and we looked up
together that if you were 85 lbs. on earth you would be 35 lbs. on
Mars. So using fractions  our collective answer is 1089 feet.
Or, we could make the ball heavier.


From: crowan@ies.net (Rowan, Chris)
Subject: Our answer to the challenge question

Roxanna Muniz and Susan Rico (two of my students) took 410
and divided it by 0.38, which is Mars's fraction of Earth's
gravity.  In other words, Mars's gravity is 38% of Earth's
gravity.  We reasoned that if we could knock a baseball 100
feet on Earth and went to a planet with exactly half Earth's
gravity, we would be able to knock the ball twice as far,
or 200 feet.  So, if Mars's gravity was exactly half earth's
gravity, we should be able to knock the baseball twice 410,
or 820 feet.

Since Mar's gravity is less than half Earth's gravity
(38 percent), then the answer we get SHOULD be greater than
820.  So, we first tried multiplying 410 by .38, but got 155.8,
which is much smaller than 820.  Then we tried dividing 410 by
.38 and got 1079.9474, or 1,080 feet.  This is more than
820, so we figure this is the correct answer.

ANSWER:  The center field fence should be placed 1,080
feet from home plate.


Chris Rowan


Dave Grott 

First we looked in the World Book Encyclopedia and found out
that an object that weighs 100 pounds on earth would weigh 38
pounds on Mars(The gravity of mars is three-eighths that of
the Earth).  We then multiplied 410 feet(the distance from
home plate to the center field fence of Yankee Stadium) times
38 and got 15,580 feet for what the distance from home plate
to the center field fence on Mars.

Patrick Cavuto
Damien Faillace
Tim Hicks
Chris Johnson
Mark Leitem
Josh Purnell
Brian Pecchia
Austin Rapp

Mr.Grott's Sixth Grade
Alden Place Elementary School
Millbrook, New York

Dave Grott 
Mrs.Phaneuf's Class

We think that the length should be 15580 feet because the
gravity on Mars is 38% of that on earth.

Mrs.Phaneuf's 4th Grade
Alden Place Elementary School
Millbrook, New York

Challenge Question - Mrs. Grady

Tim Porell and Jillian Sakovits

Distance is one foot.

We think that there is almost no gravity on Mars so the
ball would not go very far.

Mrs.Grady's Third Grade Class
Alden Place Elementary School
Millbrook, New York

Dave Grott 
Subject: Challenge Question - Mr.Grott - Girls

We all think that the answer to the baseball problem is 1230.
We got that answer by finding out that Mars's gravity is three
eighths less than Earth's gravity.  We changed three eighths
into three ninths which equals one third because one third is
easier to work with.  We then figured out that 410 was one
third of the distance that the center field fence would be
on Mars. We multiplied four hundred ten by three and got
1230.  We would like to know if the bat and ball would have
to be lighter or heaver on Mars.

Submitted by:
Sarah Schappach
Laura Donovan
Kelly Brennan
Sarah Kading
Heather Tyler
Stacey Schmouth
Danielle Ryan
Karissa Thompson
Christine Van Kessel
Kim Macy
Rebecca Raymond

The Young Ladies of Mr. Grott's 6th Grade
Alden Place Elementary School
PO Box AA, Alden Place
Millbrook, New York 12545


We decided that distance on Mars = distance on earth/gravitational pull
We use the www to find the relationship of Mars=.377 of Earth's
gravity so   
		distance on Mars= 410/.377
       which comes to 1087.33 ft. rounded off to 1088

so the center field fence would be set back at 1088 ft from home
plate. Also you could use the same ball field if you change the mass of
the baseball being hit (large ball)

Mrs. Wall's fourth grade students
John Wayland Elementary
Bridgewater, VA


Our sixth grade class talked about the challenge question in class with
Roberts and this is what we came up with.

We looked up the gravity of Mars and found it is .38 of Earths gravity.
Another way to say it, we think, is that Earths gravity is 2.6 times
stronger than Mars.  So, we multiplied the center field fence distance on
Earth by 2.6 and we got 1066 feet.

We think there are other things the Martian Baseball Commissoner needs to
think about.  Would you change the weight of the ball and bat in the same
proportions?  Would the pitcher be 2.6 times further away?  What would
happen to drop rate of the ball?  Would the batter swing faster which
might make the ball go even further?  Would the speed be 2.6 times faster
of the pitch?

Actually, we have more questions than answers!  But, this was fun to do

Bharath & Andrew
for Room 305
Zellerbach Elementary
Camas, Washington

Mrs. Jo Lynne Roberts
Sixth Grade Teacher...of a stellar class!

I am a student from St. Anne School, and I think I figured out the
challenge question.  The fence would need to be about 1086.7 feet back in
Mars, so it would be just as hard to hit a home run.  I figured this out
by making a ratio 9.78(earth) : 3.69(mars).  This equals out to 2.65 times
410, equaling out to 1086.7.  Well thank you for your time!
From: DMLedet@aol.com

The answer to challenge #1 is 154,570 feet back.


From: wecooks@ix.netcom.com (Janet K. and James R. Cook)

Hope it's not too late to enter the challenge question.  I asked my
kids last night and on emade a guess.  Others may turn somethin gin
tonight.  Evan's guess was 566 ft.  Thanks jkc


We think that the distance from Home Plate to the Centerfield fence should
be 3500 feet.  the gravity on Mars is 9 times less than on earth.

Mr.Makar's Third Grade Class
Alden Place Elementary School
Millbrook, New York