This activity page will offer:
minds-on and hands-on experience in puzzle solving
opportunity to apply and sharpen critical thinking skills
arena to think out of the box
opportunity to create a puzzling challenge
Recent research suggests that puzzle solving may be more than just
a pleasant hobby or pastime. It may have a therapeutic role in preventing
or at last delaying senility. Puzzles often require novel or creative
approaches to examining situations. This engages a robust series
of brain cell connections. Here is an assortment of puzzles that
should not only entertain and challenge you, but also stimulate
the growth and health of your brain cell.
Examine the diagram. Note the unique orientation of the bend, especially
how it relates to cutout regions of the base card. Okay, now that
you've seen it - create it. Using one rectangular scrap of paper
and scissors, manufacture this shape. HINT: The answer may be more
twisted then the bend's odd appearance.
Rate This Puzzle
Working independently, three teachers can grade three exams in three
hours. Using this same rate, how long would it four teachers to
grade four exams?
Here's a thinking challenge that at first may seem as if it requires
higher math to solve. It doesn't. The solution is simple, as long
as you can uncover the logical connection in the puzzle pieces.
your friend trained a falcon to fly from her shoulder to the shoulder
of a designated target. Once at that target, the falcon reverses
direction and immediately heads back to her shoulder. Once there,
however, the falcon flies straight back to the target. On and on
it goes, until the poor bird becomes too exhausted to reversing
direction without any loss of time or change in speed.
here's the challenge. You and your falcon-training friend are situated
12 miles apart. You begin walking towards each other, both at a
constant speed of 3 mph. At the moment you begin, the falcon leaves
her shoulder and flies to your shoulder. Once there, it reverses
direction and returns to its trainer. Back-and-forth the bird flies
until you and your friend meet.
the falcon flies at a constant velocity of 30 mph, how many miles
did it cover in its series of back-and-forth flights? Assume that
no time is lost and the bird immediately reverses direction upon
reaching each person.
Nesting dolls are toys that contain smaller and identical
toys within their hollow structure. Suppose you had a nesting doll
that was one foot tall. Each nesting doll within this one was one
half the size of the previous doll. Suppose there were an infinite
number of dolls and you removed them and placed them atop of each
other. About how tall will the stack rise?
and the Ant
Suppose a spider was sitting at one corner of a sugar
cube. An unfortunate ant was positioned at the opposite corner.
The spider plans its strike by inferring the shortest path along
the cube surface as shown by the dashed line. However, in this case
the shortest distance over the surface is NOT shown the dashed line.
The shortest path is the bent line illustrated by the solid blue
line. Can you explain?
Your Own Puzzle
Do you think you can create your
own puzzle? It may not be as diffficult as you think. Consider the
parts of a puzzle. How does the "trick" fit into the strategy for
solving a puzzle? Take another look at the previous puzzles. What
tricks, novel solutions, or "exceptions to the rules" might be applicable
to the creation of a new puzzle? Create a new puzzle scenario and
share it with classmates.
Teasers for Education and Fun
An assortment of grade 7-12 brainteasers, riddles, and lateral thinking
A robust assortment of math and logic puzzles.
A free online puzzle book with all sorts of puzzles and math thinking
Activities Help to Decrease Dementia Risk http://www.aecom.yu.edu/home/news/leisure.htm
A short synopsis on research done at Einstein College of Medicine
on dementia onset and the active mind.
Advisors for this Guide:
Suzanne Panico, Science Teacher Mentor, Cambridge Public Schools,
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School, Wayland,
Gary Pinkall, Middle School Science Teacher, Great Bend Public Schools,
Great Bend, KS
Cam Bennet Physics/Math Instructor Dauphin Regional Comprehensive
Secondary School Dauphin, MB Canada