How Much is Inside The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt?

Three teams participating in the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt have asked to host their Scavenger-hunt-related guest episodes of How Much is Inside.

Team Snell-Hitchcock - BSLC Greenhouse

The University of Chicago Greenhouse comprises the sixth floor of the Biological Sciences Learning Center at 924 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL. This facility, run by a staff of four dedicated individuals, services dozens of masochistic graduate students who spend long hours pulling the reproductive organs out of tiny flowers. It also holds a small collection of exotic plants, including several rare orchids, a pair of cycads, and numerous succulents that bear a striking resemblance to space pickles.

We counted 54 rows of metal work benches, one staff member with a watering can, and one disgruntled research assistant in a lab apron. But the real question is: how much air can it hold?

On Friday morning, we decided to find out.

Emily was frustrated with the quality of our measuring tape. We needed a better alternative.

We decided to measure the volume of the greenhouse with people.

The greenhouse is 22 people long in the north-south direction.

Ah, so relaxing. There's nothing quite like chillin' on a damp cement floor.

It's 11.3 people wide in the east-west direction.

The greenhouse has five triangular roofs. At the lowest point, they are 1.5 people tall.

At their peaks, the roofs are about 3 people tall. Emily can't even touch the top.

This makes the greenhouse volume approximately equal to 559 cubic people, or about 106,340 cubic feet.