MathBench > Measurement

Follow the Units

Our heroes and 2 challenges

One of the most notorious political scandals in U.S. history was unraveled by a newspaper reporter who met regularly with his source, code-named Deep Throat, in a parking garage. Like any good teacher, Deep Throat refused to give out answers. Instead he asked questions and then issued cryptic hints, most famously (as depicted in the movie All the President's Men):

Deep Throat: Follow the money.

Bob Woodward: What do you mean? Where?

Deep Throat: Oh, I can't tell you that.

Bob Woodward: But you could tell me that.

Deep Throat: No, I have to do this my way. ... I'll keep you in the right direction — but that's all. Just... (dum-dum-DUM...) follow. the. money.


Like Deep Throat, this module can keep you going in the right direction — all you need to do is "Follow the Units."

In homage to Watergate, we've come up with some good parking-lot related sample questions, but of course you want to use the same methods any time you need to convert units. So let's start with some challenge problems. Get out your calculator, cuz you're gonna need it.

garage garage

Challenge Problem 1

Your average driver in a congested parking garage drives at about 4.5 miles per hour. What is that in feet per minute?

(useful info: 1 mile = 5280 feet)

— and —

garage garage

Challenge Problem 2

An unlucky biology class is tasked with censusing rats in a parking garage. Based on remote photographs, they determine the average density of rats is 1.2 rats per parking space (1.5 by 5 meters). What is that in rats per square kilometer?

DO NOT skip the rest of this module unless you can EASILY get the correct answers to both problems with only a calculator.

Here are the answers:

IF AND ONLY IF you easily got the right answers, skip to here. And by easily, I mean, didn't break a sweat, didn't need to stare at the ceiling, bite your nails, scarf a twinkie, or make a couple of tries. That kind of easy.

photo credits: parking garage | parking garage