Middle School 2 Maths group had some visitors as part of the Taster Day at Heathlands School. The students were given a seemingly impossible problem to solve. They had to work out how many tubes of toothpaste that one person would use in one year. They made an initial prediction and then they set about trying to find a way to solve the problem.
They had to consider how many times a day they brush their teeth. Then work out how many times they brush their teeth in one week. They had forgotten how many weeks there were in one year, so they had to count these using a calendar. Then they multiplied the number of times they brush their teeth in one week by 52 weeks. This gave us a number of 728 times a year that they needed to brush their teeth.
Once they had this figure they then had to work out how many toothbrushes full of toothpaste one tube would give them. The students' results varied depending upon how much paste their group put on the toothbrush.
Finally, they had to do a division problem: 728 divided by the number of toothbrushes full of toothpaste in one tube in order to get the total number of tubes required. Most students used repeated addition to help them to divide. They worked amazingly well, got a bit messy and smell of fresh mint but all managed to get an answer for their problem. See! Some seemingly impossible maths problems aren't that difficult to solve when you put your mind to it. ... See MoreSee Less