The Light Bulb Problem

There are a lot of ways to look at 24. In elementary school, students start to learn how to break down numbers in different ways. So then when they see 24, they may see 8*3 instead. Or maybe they see 12*2. Or maybe they see 6*4. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24, then, are called factors of the number 24. While directly teaching students about factors can be effective, sometimes it's nice to hide a concept within a certain problem. So, although I have given a big hint by rambling about factoring, you shouldn't give your students the same hint. I also won't give you anymore hints either. Here is the light bulb problem, a problem that I think is a great exercise for students who are learning about factors. It is also a great exercise for older students who also know about factors. It's also a great exercise for adults who may or may not be math teachers and who may or may not be a few drinks in. Do what you want with it!




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