At Monega, many of us attended a Maths Puzzle Day. It helped us to improve our problem solving skills so that we can learn ways of solving mathematical challenges.
Some of us attended the ‘Maths Puzzle Workshop’ and then we had to tell the rest of our class all about it, to help them become skilled.
Those of us taking part felt really excited and the man, who was teaching us, Lewis, gave us a ‘Handcuff Challenge’. In the middle of the handcuffs was a ring and we had to work out how to free it – we all managed to solve the problem.
Another challenge was a large plastic cube with penguins – we had to ensure that no penguins fell down as we would have to start all over again if they did – pesky penguins!! There was a certain balance technique to keep the penguins steady and upright.
Confidently we went on to another further challenge to build on our success. This one was about a hexagon (a 6-sided shape) and you had to place trapeziums (a quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides) inside so no gaps were allowed and also the same coloured shapes could not touch – if they did, you had to do it again.
Hurriedly, we then continued on to the next puzzle. This one had roads and we had to join it altogether using four puzzle pieces across and five puzzle pieces down. Lewis said that there were seven thousand ways to do it.
The hardest challenge was using pipes. We had to stick them together without any spaces. Some were L-shaped; others were T-shaped whilst some were just straight. We all completed it but it was really difficult and challenging.
We completed all of these challenges (6 in all) within an hour. We felt exhausted by the end of it because we were so busy using our brains and from doing lots of teamwork.
We now feel we are much better at doing puzzles and our skills are highly improved.
Parents were invited to a workshop all about Mathematical Puzzles and lots of parents came to it.
It was a really active day! Have a go if you get the chance and create your own puzzle at home and challenge your family to do it.
The Problem Solvers