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Hermit Crab Races

AppleWorks can help students use more complex mathematics to compare the speed of hermit crabs to the speed of humans.


  • Students will use a ratio to predict how fast a human will run in 5 seconds.
  • Students will use the formula, distance equals rate times time, to find the speed of a hermit crab and a human.
  • Students will measure the length of a hermit crab and a human.


  • Have students measure the length of the hermit crabs and how far the hermit crab can run in 5 seconds.
  • Students should enter their data into an AppleWorks table. Have students calculate the speed of the hermit crabs.
  • Have students measure the length of their bodies with a meterstick.
  • Using the ratio in the template, have students enter their measurements and predict how fast they will go.
  • Have students see how far they can run in 5 seconds.
  • Have students enter their data in their tables in the template. In the last column, have students enter the formula to calculate speed.
  • Have a discussion with the class comparing their speeds to their prediction and to the hermit crabs' speeds.

Sunshine State Standards

  • MA.7.A.1.6
  • MA.6.A.2.1
  • MA.6.A.2.2

NETS Profiles for Technology Literate Students

  • Use keyboards and other common input and output devices (including adaptive devices when necessary) efficiently and effectively.
  • Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, presentation, Web tools, digital cameras, scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.
  • Evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronic information sources.


  • AppleWorks
  • Hermit Crabs
  • Meters Sticks
  • AppleWorks worksheet



  • Have students make bar graphs for the data they collect. They can make it with paper and pencil or with AppleWorks.
  • Have students write paragraphs and/or an essay about their results and the process of the experiment.
  • Any animal, bug, rodent, etc. can be used for this experiment - it does not have to be hermit crabs.

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