My favorite Learning Through Problem Solving activity right now is the Giant Gummy Bear problem. You can read my post on it here. I have used this problem with students and teachers, and it is always a favorite. Teachers who have used it have emailed me to tell me that they received Giant Gummy Bears from their classes as gifts after doing this problem. It really does go over well in class. Students tend to wonder how many small gummy bears make up the 5 lb gummy bear. They wonder about the dimensions of the 5 lb gummy bear. It’s fun, and it leads to good math. I’ve had trouble coming up with extensions for the problem until now.
Then the nice people over at Vat19 made me one. And I didn’t even ask for it. Check this out.
The beauty of this one is that I don’t even have to edit it. It works exactly how it is. It provides just enough information, but still leaves lots of math questions students could explore.
It’s an extension to the original because the math involved is going to be different than the math involved in the 5 lb problem. The 34 fluid ounce tummy throws a nice 3-dimensional wrench into the calculations. Students will have to compensate for this hole in the belly of the 26 pounder.
Questions I see them having include:
- How many regular gummy bears make up the 26 pound one?
- How tall is that 26 pound gummy bear?
- How many small gummy bears would fit in the 26 pounder’s belly?
- Is the cost of the 26 pounder proportional to the cost of the small ones and to the 5 pound one?
Question I have:
- Can somebody with an extra $200 send on of those my way?