Task of the Week: Combinatorics
On Monday, May 14th, 45 primary students, who are interested in math and take part in an enrichment program, were able to discover the Campus Westend of Goethe University. In the beginning, the weather was thundery, nevertheless the motivated students were able to go on a math trail with their parents and university students. The trail was a combination of combinatory puzzles and measuring tasks which were solved by the participants in cooperation.
Task: Connected Trees (Task Number: 3485)
How many ropes are needed to connect every tree with all the other trees?
The students had a lot of fun while solving the problems. Especially while solving the tree task, they were able to build on prior knowledge from the enrichment program. Here, a similar task with shaking hands was questioned. The solution that the first of the 15 trees is connected with 14, the second with 13 and so on led quickly to the right solution.
Also the questions on the number of possibilities for 6 persons to take a seat, and the number of possiblities to go upstairs a stair with single, double and triple steps could be solved by the children through calculation and testing.
A special highlight was a task whose correct answer opened the lock to a treasure chest with small surprises in it.