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How Many Licks to Get to the Center of a Tootsie Pop?

  • Date Submitted: 11/17/2010 04:24 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.9 
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Tootsie Roll Pop - How Many Licks does it take?

This activity will take two class periods to collect and analyze the data. Time will also be needed outside the class for writing the final report.
In this activity you will determine the rate of change of volume of a Tootsie Roll Pop (TRP) as you consume it.
• Tootsie Roll Pop
• Dental Floss & Ruler
• Graphing Calculator or Spreadsheet

Data Collection:
• Step 1: Determine the initial circumference of the TRP and calculate the radius. (Assume it is a perfect sphere.)

• Step 2: Place it in your mouth and carefully suck for 30 seconds.

• Step 3: Measure the circumference and record.

• Step 4: Repeat step two and three a total of 10 times after the initial reading.

• Step 5: Record your measured data in a table, and add columns that calculate the radius and the volume.

Data Analysis:
• Step 1: Graph a scatter plot of the radius as a function of time to see how the radius changes with time. Use this graph to determine the rate of change of the radius (dr/dt) of the TRP from your mouth power.   (Determine the equation of the trend line for your data).

• Step 2: Graph the volume as a function of time so you see how the volume can be modeled as a function of time.   Determine the equation of a trend line that best fits this data.

• Step 3: Use your estimated value of dr/dt and what you learned about related rates to determine a general formula for the rate of change of the volume of the TRP.

• Step 4: Using your data and formula, predict   EMBED Equation.DSMT4   at t = 5 minutes.
• Step 5: Using your data, predict how long it will take for the volume of the TRP = 0.   You have some flexibility in your answer, considering there is a tootsie roll in the center, but you must support your answer.

Sample data:

BONUS:   In a spreadsheet, create additional columns that estimate the dr/dt and dv/dt for each 30 seconds.   Also add a column that calculates...


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