Minus' Solution to

Party Patty's Pick
Posted September 22 - 28, 1997

To determine the area of the base, divide 384/24 = 16. That means the base of the cannister is 4 cm x 4 cm. The other two cannisters also have a base of that size.

There are 20(4)(4) = 320 green candies.
There are 30(4)(4) = 480 black candies.

To determine the chance of picking a black candy at random, you need to determine how many candies there are in total. Adding them together, you get 1184 candies. Patty's chances of picking a black candy are 480/1184 = 15/37 which is approximately 41%.

Your Solutions

This week's premiere chef is Tracy Hong, of Kent Street Senior High School. She dazzled Minus with this scrumptious dish--a short, but sweet solution because Tracy knows how to use ratios to her advantage. Bravo, Tracy!

Because the volume of each candy is the same and so is the base of each container, the odds of Patty picking up the black candy is just the ratio between the height of the third container to the sum of all three heights. Answer: 15/(24+20+30)=15/37

Four teams of 5th graders cooked up this healthy dish for our snarky mascot. We have: 
Team 1: Jonathan McDuffie and Austin Dyches
Team 2: Amy Morrison and Tracy We
Team 3: Lindsay Maidment and Ashley Carter
Team 4: Kimberly Rushing and Diane Bailey
Using the formula for volume L x W x H = V, we first figured out the square base (l x w) using the information from the first container: Volume=384 divided by the height of 24 cm. That gave us the square base of 16 sq. cm. (or 4x4).
We then multiplied 16 sq. cm by 20 cm to get the number of green candies in the second container = 320. And then 16 sq cm by 30 to get 480 black candies in the third container.
Putting them all together we got 1,184 candies all mixed up in the bowl. Since there are 480 black candies, the odds are 480 to 1184 that she will pick out a black candy. Or if you reduce the odds, 15 to 37 that she will pick out a black candy.

This was hard-- it took us awhile to figure out the base, but once we got it, the rest came a little bit easier.

Crystal Simmons, of Robert Smalls Middle School in Beaufort, SC, used the same cooking method as our previous feature-chefs. Hey, if it works, it works. Right?

I divided 384 by 24 to get the number of candy that would fit in 1 centimeter of the height of the 24 centimeter container. My answer was 16. I used that to find out the number of pieces of green and black candy. There are 480 pieces of black candy and 320 pieces of green candy. There are 1184 pieces of candy altogether. So the chances odds of Patty pulling out a black piece of candy is 480/1184 or 15/37.

Kudos, to you all!
Minus would be looking for
a real job if it weren't for you.