Or search by topic
This problem provides a context for playing with integer and fractional powers so students can get a feel for manipulating indices and become more familiar with commonly used powers of smaller numbers.
You could start by showing the video in the problem. Alternatively, show students the first set of numbers $2, 3, 4, 5, 16, 32$ and the target of $8$, and set the challenge of making it using only powers, products and reciprocals. There is more than one way of making $8$, so students could be challenged to find as many different ways as possible, or to look for a way that uses all the numbers.
The last part of the problem is about recognising commonly used powers. The key to finding an answer to those targets which are possible is to spot how to write the target in terms of powers. Students could work on one particular target and then feed back to the rest of the class a solution, or an explanation of how they know their target was impossible.
They could follow this up by making targets of their own and challenging each other to find a way of getting the target.
Why is raising to a fractional power the same as finding a root?
Give students a selection of numbers and targets to work with which are less than $100$, concentrating mainly on powers of $2$ and $3$.
What fractions can you find between the square roots of 65 and 67?
Find the polynomial p(x) with integer coefficients such that one solution of the equation p(x)=0 is $1+\sqrt 2+\sqrt 3$.
The squares of any 8 consecutive numbers can be arranged into two sets of four numbers with the same sum. True of false?