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Everyday math

Maximum Load on a Stage In 2014, a high school stage collapsed in Fullerton, California, when 250 students got on stage for the finale of a musical production. Two dozen students were injured. The stage could support a maximum of 12,750 pounds. If the average weight of a student is assumed to be 140 pounds, what is the maximum number of students who could safely be on the stage?

91 students

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Maximum Weight on a Boat In 2004, a water taxi sank in Baltimore harbor and five people drowned. The water taxi had a maximum capacity of 3,500 pounds (25 people with average weight 140 pounds). The average weight of the 25 people on the water taxi when it sank was 168 pounds per person. What should the maximum number of people of this weight have been?

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Wedding Budget Adele and Walter found the perfect venue for their wedding reception. The cost is $9,850 for up to 100 guests, plus $38 for each additional guest. How many guests can attend if Adele and Walter want the total cost to be no more than $12,500?

169 guests

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Shower Budget Penny is planning a baby shower for her daughter-in-law. The restaurant charges $950 for up to 25 guests, plus $31.95 for each additional guest. How many guests can attend if Penny wants the total cost to be no more than $1,500?

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Writing exercises

Find your last month’s phone bill and the hourly salary you are paid at your job. (If you do not have a job, use the hourly salary you would realistically be paid if you had a job.) Calculate the number of hours of work it would take you to earn at least enough money to pay your phone bill by writing an appropriate inequality and then solving it.

Answers will vary.

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Find out how many units you have left, after this term, to achieve your college goal and estimate the number of units you can take each term in college. Calculate the number of terms it will take you to achieve your college goal by writing an appropriate inequality and then solving it.

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Self check

After completing the exercises, use this checklist to evaluate your mastery of the objectives of this section.

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What does this checklist tell you about your mastery of this section? What steps will you take to improve?

3.1 Using a Problem Solving Strategy

Approach Word Problems with a Positive Attitude

In the following exercises, reflect on your approach to word problems.

How has your attitude towards solving word problems changed as a result of working through this chapter? Explain.

answers will vary

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Did the problem-solving strategy help you solve word problems in this chapter? Explain.

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Use a Problem-Solving Strategy for Word Problems

In the following exercises, solve using the problem-solving strategy for word problems. Remember to write a complete sentence to answer each question.

Three-fourths of the people at a concert are children. If there are 87 children, what is the total number of people at the concert?


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There are nine saxophone players in the band. The number of saxophone players is one less than twice the number of tuba players. Find the number of tuba players.

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Questions & Answers

A veterinarian is enclosing a rectangular outdoor running area against his building for the dogs he cares for. He needs to maximize the area using 100 feet of fencing. The quadratic equation A=x(100−2x) gives the area, A , of the dog run for the length, x , of the building that will border the dog run. Find the length of the building that should border the dog run to give the maximum area, and then find the maximum area of the dog run.
Elizabeth Reply
Washing his dad’s car alone, eight year old Levi takes 2.5 hours. If his dad helps him, then it takes 1 hour. How long does it take the Levi’s dad to wash the car by himself?
Gagan Reply
I'm going to guess. Divide Levi's time by 2. Then divide 1 hour by 2. 1.25 + 0.5 = 1.3?
Oops I mean 1.75
I'm guessing this because since I have divide 1 hour by 2, I have to do the same for the 2.5 hours it takes Levi by himself.
Drew burned 1,800 calories Friday playing 1 hour of basketball and canoeing for 2 hours. On Saturday, he spent 2 hours playing basketball and 3 hours canoeing and burned 3,200 calories. How many calories did he burn per hour when playing basketball?
Marie Reply
Brandon has a cup of quarters and dimes with a total value of $3.80. The number of quarters is four less than twice the number of dimes. How many quarters and how many dimes does Brandon have?
Kendra Reply
Tickets to a Broadway show cost $35 for adults and $15 for children. The total receipts for 1650 tickets at one performance were $47,150. How many adult and how many child tickets were sold?
dana Reply
Arnold invested $64,000, some at 5.5% interest and the rest at 9%. How much did he invest at each rate if he received $4,500 in interest in one year? How do I do this
Tanesia Reply
how to square
Fiona Reply
easiest way to find the square root of a large number?
the accompanying figure shows known flow rates of hydrocarbons into and out of a network of pipes at an oil refinery set up a linear system whose solution provides the unknown flow rates (b) solve the system for the unknown flow rates (c) find the flow rates and directions of flow if x4=50and x6=0
Sabee Reply
What is observation
adeyemi Reply
I'm confused by the question. Can you describe or explain the math question it pertains to?
there is no math to it because all you use is your vision or gaze to the sorrounding areas
Teegan likes to play golf. He has budgeted $60 next month for the driving range. It costs him $10.55 for a bucket of balls each time he goes. What is the maximum number of times he can go to the driving range next month?
Sunnyshay Reply
5 times max
Felecia left her home to visit her daughter, driving 45mph. Her husband waited for the dog sitter to arrive and left home 20 minutes, or 1/3 hour later. He drove 55mph to catch up to Felecia. How long before he reaches her?
Sophia Reply
35 min
Carmen wants to tile the floor of his house. He will need 1,000 square feet of tile. He will do most of the floor with a tile that costs $1.50 per square foot, but also wants to use an accent tile that costs $9.00 per square foot. How many square feet of each tile should he plan to use if he wants the overall cost to be $3 per square foot?
Parker Reply
what you wanna get
800 sq. ft @ $1.50 & 200 sq. ft @ $9.00
Geneva treated her parents to dinner at their favorite restaurant. The bill was $74.25. Geneva wants to leave 16 % of the total - bill as a tip. How much should the tip be?
74.25 × .16 then get the total and that will be your tip
$74.25 x 0.16 = $11.88 total bill: $74.25 + $11.88 = $86.13
yes and tip 16% will be $11.88
what is the shorter way to do it
Cesar Reply
Priam has dimes and pennies in a cup holder in his car. The total value of the coins is $4.21. The number of dimes is three less than four times the number of pennies. How many dimes and how many pennies are in the cup?
Alexandra Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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