Posts Tagged ‘North Pole’

The Physics of Santa

December 18th, 2000

Continuing with our Holiday Curriculum….this email pertains to Santa Claus. The first part is for older children. Scroll down to see a website recommendation for younger ones.

Recommended Website:

First, here are some interesting estimations about what it would take for Santa to accomplish his task of bringing gifts to every girl and boy. Older children and Santa-non-believers will have lots of fun with these math facts reported in a newsletter of the National Association of Scholars. We also found an article using slightly different statistics borrowed from SPY magazine (January, 1991).

To appreciate what Santa accomplishes, understand that he travels 75.5 million miles all in 31 hours, thanks to the many time zones and Earth’s rotation. There are 2 billion children under 18 in the world and if you assume (as NAS does) that Santa does not deliver to those who are Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist — that leaves 378 million who may expect a visit from Santa. The world census figures place 3.5 children in each household. So Santa must visit 91.8 million homes —— that’s 822.6 houses per second. That gives him 1/1,000th of a second to land the reindeer on a roof, jump down the chimney, distribute the goodies, chomp on some cookies, and move on. His sleigh must move 650 miles per second — 3,000 times the speed of sound. NAS says the average Christmas gift (say, Legos or a Barbie Doll) weighs 2 pounds — that means the sleigh leaves Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole carrying 321,300 tons of gifts. NAS estimates a normal reindeer can pull 300 pounds — but assumes Santa’s Super-Reindeer can pull 10 times that amount. Even so, Santa will need 214,200 reindeer to do the job. That herd of deer increases the weight on your roof to 353,430 tons (better reinforce if you’re expecting the Jolly One). Not only that, but air resistance from 353,430 tons traveling 650 miles per second generates terrific heat, so the two lead reindeer absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second which causes them to spontaneously combust. They burst into flames as do the next 214,198 reindeer in 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa probably doesn’t notice as the deafening sonic booms and centrifugal forces that are 17,500 times the force of gravity have probably disoriented him. Santa is thrust into the back of his sleigh with 4,315,015 pounds of force. NAS isn’t sure anyone could survive, much less deliver gifts, in such conditions.

Interestingly, children throughout the world could care less about NAS scientific speculation — because they believe in magic. (Which is another discussion entirely. See how one topic springboards to another?)

For those who still believe in Santa Claus here is a website where, on Christmas Eve, children can track where Santa is located throughout the world — and discover when he is getting close to their house. This Santa Spotter only activates on Christmas Eve, so if you go the site now, you can see some animated pictures — but you won’t be able to track Santa yet. There are other games and activities at this site that kids will enjoy between now and Christmas Eve.

New for 2007: Parents and kids can now call Santa and talk to him during his flight.

Virtual Field Trip to The North Pole

December 8th, 2000

Continuing with our Holiday Curriculum…

Recommended Website:
The-North-Pole.com

What you will find at this site is a bit of information about the North Pole, coupled with an interactive Question and Answer Game about who were the first to arrive at the North Pole. You are given a choice of 10 possibilities — real explorers and expeditions. You read what each one did, and then determine if you think they were the first to arrive at the North Pole. This is lots of fun, and needless to say increases one’s knowledge about famous and not-so-famous explorers in history.

After you figure out who made it to the North Pole first, do click on the “Back to the Home Page” button at the bottom of the screen. Here you will find a menu of other activities offered at this site. You and the kids can send a letter to Santa, find easy-to-make recipes for holiday goodies, find music and lyrics for over 40 Christmas carols — and even play “Name That Tune” with Santa! You will find information on Christmas traditions throughout the world and can even read the history of Santa Claus. There are coloring pages, puzzles, and games too. Enjoy!

Tuesday – Science (last issue until Jan 3, 2000)

December 21st, 1999

Hi! It’s Tuesday and time for Science at ClickSchooling.

Just for fun, I thought I pass along the Science Curriculum based on things associated with the holidays that we published in Homefires~The Journal of Homeschooling last year. You and the kids might get a kick out of this, and it’s nice to see that learning is all around you — even in traditional holiday fare.

This is the last issue of ClickSchooling until January 3rd. Wishing all of you a peaceful and healthy New Year!

The Physics of Santa Claus — Consider this from the National Association of Scholars 1997 newsletter:

To appreciate what Santa accomplishes, understand that he travels 75.5 million miles all in 31 hours, thanks to the many time zones and Earth’s rotation. There are 2 billion children under 18 in the world and if you assume (as NAS does) that Santa does not deliver to those who are Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist — that leaves 378 million who may expect a visit from Santa. The world census figures place 3.5 children in each household. So Santa must visit 91.8 million homes — that’s 822.6 houses per second. That gives him 1/1,000th of a second to land the reindeer on a roof, jump down the chimney, distribute the goodies, chomp on some cookies, and move on. His sleigh must move 650 miles per second — 3,000 times the speed of sound.

NAS says the average Christmas gift (say, Legos or a Barbie Doll) weighs 2 pounds — that means the sleigh leaves Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole carrying 321,300 tons of gifts. NAS estimates a normal reindeer can pull 300 pounds — but assumes Santa’s Super-Reindeer can pull 10 times that amount. Even so, Santa will need 214,200 reindeer to do the job. That herd of deer increases the weight on your roof to 353,430 tons (better reinforce if you’re expecting the Jolly One).

Not only that, but air resistance from 353,430 tons traveling 650 miles per second generates terrific heat, so the two lead reindeer absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second which causes them to spontaneously combust. They burst into flames as do the next 214,198 reindeer in 4.26 thousandths of a second.

Santa probably doesn’t notice as the deafening sonic booms and centrifugal forces that are 17,500 times the force of gravity have probably disoriented him. Santa is thrust into the back of his sleigh with 4,315,015 pounds of force. NAS isn’t sure anyone could survive, much less deliver gifts, in such conditions.

Interestingly, children throughout the world could care less about NAS’ scientific speculation — because they believe in magic. (Which is another discussion entirely. See how one topic springboards to another?)

Holiday Baking & Fermentation — Baking is Chemistry. Discuss the chemical reactions that take place during the baking process. What is yeast and why does it make things “grow”? Don’t forget to make the most of your baking flops — explain why the meringue separated, and why the fudge is as hard as a rock. The Chemistry of fermentation is a good subject for those who brew their own Root Beer and other holiday beverages. Don’t forget the science experiments that you’ll find growing in Tupperware containers at the back of the fridge when the holidays are over. J

Christmas Trees — can lead to a discussion of Forestry and land management. According to Starcross Trees and Wreaths of Annapolis, California, the first recorded Christmas tree retail lot was set up in 1851 by a Pennsylvanian named Mark Carr who hauled 2 ox sleds loaded with Balsam fir trees from his land in the Catskills to the sidewalks of New York. Nowadays, most trees are grown on farms where they provide environmental benefits by serving as a wildlife habitat, and increasing soil stability. It takes 5-16 years for a tree to grow into a well-shaped 6-8 foot marketable tree.

Poinsettias, Mistletoe and Bulbs. Did you know that an ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Robert Poinsett, brought the first Poinsettia to this country from Mexico in 1828? (Legend has it that a Mexican boy had no gift for the Christ child. As he knelt to pray, a beautiful flower grew next to him. He gave it to Jesus. That flowering plant later became known as a Poinsettia.) As for Mistletoe, ancient Celtic people hung it over their doors to ward off evil spirits during the dark time of year (Winter). Well, we just covered History, now for Botany. Discuss the parts of plants. Chart plant growth with this idea from homeschool mom, Peggy Henson.

Activity: Grow Amaryillis. Purchase a bulb and plant it in a pot. It will begin to grow almost as soon as you start to water it. It grows to a height of about 3 feet and blooms into a lily-looking flower in just 4 weeks.

Wrapping Paper — Recycle it for a study of Ecology and Conservation. Don’t forget to compost the tree!

The Star of Bethlehem — astronomy is a natural link-up to this event, which has been explained by some astronomers as a convergence of the planet Jupiter and another celestial body. Don’t forget that the annual Geminids Meteor Shower occurs in mid-December.

Snowflakes — seasonal weather patterns and cold temperatures along with snow, clouds, and rain, can lead to a discussion of Meteorology and the science of crystals. Utilize a Barometer and talk about Wind Chill.

Diane Keith
Homefires~The Journal of Homeschooling

www.Homefires.com

Copyright ©1999, Homefires~The Journal of Homeschooling, All Rights Reserved

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