Examining The Big Picture

How does this sound as an exam question? A fifth-grader in San Diego County decided to figure out how far a ball would travel if it rolled down a ramp at a steady 5 ft. per sec. for a year (assuming that friction on the shallow incline counteracted the acceleration of gravity.) His work page is a maze of multiplication, punctuated by arrows explaining things like "Here I found out how many seconds there are in a year." His final answer -- 29,863 miles and 1,108.8 yds. -- is accompanied by a proud statement: "I chose this paper because it's a...

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