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New Hospital Blog : 1-11-11

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A Teachable Moment with My Son: Elevator Math
by Trillium Hibbeln on 09/15/2010 at 1:03 PM

The other night at home, I was still pondering a logistical challenge we had wrestled with at work. One thing that had really stumped us was how to estimate the capacity of our elevators to move 10,000 people through the building during the Community Day opening event. 

My ten-year-old, Lucas and I were both doing our "homework" after dinner.  He was complaining, as most kids do, that his homework wasn't real, like my "homework" was.  He said, "I'll never use this math I am learning." (Don't tell his teacher.)

So I put the challenge to him. "Here's a real world example of a math problem we are trying to solve at work," I said. I got out a paper and pencil and then Lucas  got his scientific calendar and we worked through this word problem together:  If we have 10,000 people attend opening events, and nine elevators...each person goes to an average of five floors, the average ride takes X# of minutes. It turned out to be about a seven step problem.  At the end, it was clear to me that we needed to extend the hours of our community day to accommodate the number of people who could potentially attend.

When I returned home from work the next night and told Lucas that the hospital had in fact changed the times of the Community Day based on our calculations he was beaming from ear to ear.  Teachable moment: Math does count! 

Although the new children's hospital officially opens when we move in the patients on 1-11-11, opening events will be conducted during the beginning of December. Community Day will be a time for our entire community to come and tour the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.  It will be great to finally share this project with so many families and children who have been excitedly waiting for the opening. 

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Comment posted by Rebecca K. Sherbahn Weber on 09/22/2010 at 3:18 AM
Loved your blog Trillium, nice to see you keeping up the good work!
Comment posted by Danielle DeWitt on 09/15/2010 at 3:45 PM
I love the blog and as I drive by each day I try and peek into the windows from my car to see what's going on inside. This place will be such a blessing to so many! Keep up the good work and I can't wait to set foot inside!
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