Headed Up the Porcupine River
21 March 2007 Porcupine River near the mouth of the Black River
Camp 6 Location: 66º 42'N, 144º 45'W
Overcast, 10ºF (12ºC)
We visited Ft. Yukon today and met many wonderful people. Dan and Matthew
talked to 5th through 12th grades at the Ft. Yukon School. Henry and Glen
were interviewed on KZPA radio. Jon stood by our sleds near the school and
met and talked with virtually everyone in town who came by. Everyone was
interested in our trip and we had a great time talking with them.
School Visit: At the school, the kids learned about SnowSTAR 2007, about
IPY, about sampling snow, and why studying science, math, and English is
good because it can mean a better job and more money after graduation. We
showed the kids the posters from other schools which they liked. Dan made a
resonance tube sound like a fog horn (more on this later). By far, however,
the most interest was in our sleds and snowmobiles. All the kids looked in
the covered sled. Bryan Neubert's science classes have been following our
trip on the website (picture below).
Fuel: For the long journey from Ft. Yukon to Old Crow we bought lots of
gasoline, in fact, $749 worth. KIDS: Why do you need math? To figure out
how much gas to buy to make the trip. See Dan's math problem below.
Getting out of Town: After visiting the school, we were invited by Earl
Cadzow to a delicious lunch. He took time to look at our map of the
Porcupine River and tell us where the cabins and landmarks were. Then he
took us to the cemetery to see the grave of Archdeacon Hudson Stuck (picture below). Stuck
was a famous Episcopalian Archdeacon who built schools and churches all
around Alaska during the Gold Rush Era (1900 to 1920) and the next decade.
Then Earl guided us out of town. Typically, getting out of
town is one of the hardest parts of our journey as the maze of trails run
everywhichway, and unless you know them well, you will take a wrong turn.
Earl was so nice to help us this way.
In fact, we want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all the people in Ft. Yukon
who we talked to and who were so friendly.
Dan's Math Problem: Math and Energy, Gas and Cookies
We left Fort Yukon with 40.6 gallons of gasoline for each of our five
snowmachines.
Question 1(very important for us to know!): If we get 8 miles to the
gallon, how many miles can we go?
We left Fort Yukon headed for Old Crow in the Yukon Territory, Canada with
a total of 40.6 gallons of gas for each snowmachine. That gas contains a
lot of energy. Energy is like the money of the universe it can be changed
from one form to another and the energy from two different kinds of stuff
compared. The energy in one thing, say an Oreo cookie (food for us) can
be compared to the energy in a chunk of wood (food for your woodstove) or a
gallon of gasoline (food for our snowmobile).
Question 2 (a little harder): How high would a stack of Oreo cookies be, to
equal the same amount of energy as is in the (40.6 x 5 ) gal of gasoline we
left Fort Yukon with??
a) Look on a pack of Oreo cookies and see how many calories each cookie
contains. (Calories are one unit, or way to measure energy. Also, units of
energy can be confusing, the calories food is measured in are generally
kilocalories (so if one Oreo cookie has 70 foodcalories it is actually
70,000 calories )
b) Then measure how thick one Oreo cookie is. (If you make this
measurement in centimeters or meters, calculating how high your final stack
is, will be a little easier.)
c) Next you need to find out how much energy is in a gallon of gas.
This is a bit more difficult and may require going on the web or checking a
physics, chemistry or engineering text (you might want your teacher to help
you with this).
What you will find are probably the number of joules of energy per liter of
gasoline. You will need to convert gallons to liters (about 3.6 liters per
gallon) and you will need to find the conversion from joules to calories
(there are a little over 4 joules in each calorie)
To get the answer: Oreo Cookie height = ((total number of calories of
energy in our 203 gal of gasoline )/ (number of calories in a oreo cookie) )
x (thickness of an oreo cookie)
(Just a silly little calculation with a lot of unit conversions and good
practice switching from liters to gallons etc.) Good Luck!
