Developing Systematic Approaches

Developing Systematic Approaches

Mathematicians like to work systematically on a problem rather than approaching it in a random, unstructured way. The tasks in this feature are designed to provoke students to solve them in a systematic manner.

1 Step 2 Step 

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:
This problem is inaccessible without looking at simpler cases, and thus helps students to see the value of specialising in order to generalise.

Shady Symmetry 

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:
This problem is a good activity for the visualisation of symmetry, and for encouraging students to work systematically.


Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:
This problem uses playing cards and video to introduce students to some well-known sorting algorithms.

Odds and Evens Made Fair 

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:
To search for a fair game in this probability task, students will need to work systematically and record their findings appropriately.