Word Problem Wednesday: Practice Percents to GROW Your Math Skills

Jun 13, 2018 | Cary Park

If you want a plant to grow, you don’t “leaf” it alone, you take care of it.

Likewise, if you want your math skills to grow, you have to take care of them by practicing. In this week’s word problem challenge you’ll need your foundational elementary school math skills such as addition, subtraction, and percents to solve the question of how fast a rogue vine will grow.

Question: A tree is 200 feet tall. A vine growing up the trunk of the tree overtakes 10% of the tree’s remaining height each week. How high does the vine reach after 3 weeks?

Solution: On the first week, the vine grows 10% of 200 = 20 feet, leaving 200 – 20 = 180 feet untouched. On the second week, it grows 10% of 180 = 18 feet, leaving 162 feet untouched. On the third week, it grows 10% of 162 = 16.2 feet. So, in total, the vine has grown 20 + 18 + 16.2 = 54.2 feet up the tree.