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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
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Excel Investigation: More Beads
Stage: 3 and 4
The investigation offered this month is called More Beads, and follows on from
Ituses Excel to run off the calculated values leaving your mind free to observe and account for the patterns produced by that process.
A heap of beads was shared out between three people by a professional bead sharer. The first person got one third, but not before the bead sharer had taken one bead as commission. The second person had one third of what remained, but again, after commission of one bead had been taken by the bead sharer. The third person also received a one third portion of what remains but, as before, after commission. Once all three people had received beads the bead sharer took a final commission of one bead and shared the remaining beads equally between the three people. There were no beads left over and no beads were split into fractions. How many beads could there have been at the start?
For example there could have been 3562 beads. Try it.
You should see 3562 becoming 2374, then 1582, then 1054, and finally three equal shares of 351.
Meet the team
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice. More information on many of our other activities can be found here.
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