Sep 7 2016

Pyramid of Pennies Problem

In Tamar Class this afternoon we began thinking mathematically after watching this short video:

pyramid of pennies

I asked the children to think of a range of questions after watching the short film. Some of their responses included: How much did it weigh? How tall is it? How many coins did it take to make it? How long did take? How long did it take to plan out? How many people were involved in making it? What is it made out of? Did they use glue? Who made it? Did it ever fall over? What’s the point? Did they experiment with any other materials? What it based on something?

We decided that the question we most wanted to know the answer to was: How many coins did it take to build it? So began our investigation. The children were allowed to ask me questions to help them arrive at the answer. These included:

What are the dimesions of the base layer? (40×40)

How may coins in a stack?  (13)

How many layers are there?

How much does each layer decrease by? (1 stack)

Before beginning the calculation, we investigated pyramidical numbers with cubes and realised that a knowledge of square numbers was vital to an understanding og pyramidical numbers.

The children were so absorbed in their learning that they worked for nearly two hours on the problem (on the first day back after a summer holiday!).

As yet I am still waiting for a correct answer.