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### Baseballs, Buckets, and Milk Cartons

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Date: 10/09/2001 at 16:53:13
From: Laura
Subject: Algebra; Equations

The question is:

The mass of a baseball is 50g. What is the mass of a bucket when...

2 buckets = 6 blocks
1 bucket + 1 block = 2 milk cartons
2 baseballs = 1 milk carton

I figured out that 1 milk carton = 100g

2 mc = 200g   1bucket+1ball = 200g

Laura
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Date: 10/10/2001 at 11:30:11
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Algebra; Equations

Hi Laura,

You're on the right track. If the mass of a baseball is 50 grams, then
the mass of a milk carton must be twice that, or 100 grams.

So the mass of a bucket and a block must be twice that again, or 200
grams.

Here's where it gets tricky.  Let's look at the two equations

2 buckets          = 6 blocks

1 bucket + 1 block = 200 g

The first equation is the same as saying that

1 bucket            = 3 blocks

which is the same as saying that

1 bucket - 3 blocks = 0

So now we have these two equations:

1 bucket - 3 blocks = 0

1 bucket + 1 block  = 200 g

This tells you that a difference of 4 blocks is the same thing as a
difference of 200 g.

Does this help?

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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Associated Topics:
Middle School Algebra
Middle School Equations
Middle School Word Problems

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