Exploring maths through problem solving

Problem of the Week

Times Faster

By Heather McMaster

A peregrine falcon can dive at a speed of almost 90 metres per second. The famous sprinter, Usain Bolt, can run at a top speed of about 45 kilometres per hour. How many times faster is a peregrine falcon compared to Usain Bolt? What enables a peregrine falcon to dive so fast?


The falcon’s speed: 90 m/s = 90 x 3600 m/h = 324000 m/h = 324 km/h.

Usain Bolt’s top speed: 45 km/h.

To compare the falcon’s speed to Bolt’s speed: 324 ÷ 45 = 7.2

So, the falcon’s speed is 7.2 times faster than Bolt’s speed.

The falcon has an amazing aerodynamic shape to reduce air friction. Can you see the shape of a dart?

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