Week 4 Activity: Microbe Math!

Microbe Math!

I’ll bet that you didn’t know that JR loves to solve challenging problems. He says that it is like playing a game! JR especially likes solving problems that involve numbers. So, what do you say, let’s help JR figure out these math challenges!

Problem 1: (Ratios) Expedition 329 is investigating how many microbes live within the sediments at different depths in this part of the Pacific Ocean but that data is not available yet. So let’s work with some typical numbers that we might expect to find in seafloor sediments.  Often, scientists work with ratios, which are comparisons. Using data from the table, determine how many more microbes live at the seafloor than at a depth of 1 meter. Now determine how many more microbes live at the seafloor than at a depth of 100 m.

Depth below seafloor  (m)
Number of microbes per cubic cm
1 x 109
1 x 108
1 x 107
1 x 106

Problem 2: (Percentages) When rock cores are brought up to the surface, we often find that the core liner is not completely filled with rock. If it is filled, we say that we have 100% recovery.  The plastic core liner is 9.5 meters long. The core just brought up to the ship has 1.3 meters of rock in it. What is the percentage of recovery?

Problem 3: (Area) Expedition 329 has 122 people on board. If each standing person takes up 200 cm2 of floor space, how much floor space would a room need to have to fit all 122 people in it while standing? The conference room on the JOIDES Resolution has a floor area of 486,400 cm2, could everyone on the ship stand in it?

Be sure to email me your answers (thejoidesresolution@gmail.com) before the week is over!

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