We’ve shared fun Earth Day math problems from our Ascend Math Partners over the years. Here are a few of our favorites to share with your class.

1. If a tree grows 5 branches and each of those branches grows an additional 5 branches and each of those grow another 5 branches, how many branches are on the tree? (Submitted by Johnsburg Junior High School in Johnsburg, IL)
2. Five recycled plastic bottles provide enough fiber to create one square foot of carpet. If the carpet in your classroom is 50 square feet how many plastic bottles would need to be recycled to make it.
3. Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree. How many trees are saved if our school collected and recycled 20 stacks of newspapers 6 feet high? (Submitted by Haughton High School, Haughton, LA)
4. Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away! Only around 27% of plastic bottles are recycled. How many bottles are recycled an hour? How many more would be recycled if the percentage rose to 30%
5. Almost 97% of the world’s water is salty or undrinkable, another 2% is locked away in the ice cap or glaciers. What percent is drinkable? (Submitted by Southfield School in Shreveport, LA)
6. The mean radius of Earth is approximately 3,963 miles. The mean radius of Mercury is 1,509 miles. Find the volume of both Earth and Mercury. About how many times larger is Earth than Mercury? Keep answers in terms of π.

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