Dan Meyer 3 Act Maths: Super Stairs

For Maths this week we have started looking at some basic algebra by creating linear equations. Algebra is used all around us and the “best” method for answering the problem above is to use an equation. Some students went outside and ran the staircase, adding totals as they went. Others drew staircases and counted up and down the page. Many got the correct answer, so they had a good system, but none had the best system.

An example of a linear equation in sport is AFL scoring (Goals X 6) + (Points X 1) = Total. This could be written (G X 6) + (P X 1) = T. Even though the number of goals and points in each game changes, the linear equation always works.

Same with our problem above. If we can find a pattern and answer for a 1 or or 3 step staircase, this ‘rule’ should work for 21 steps. To finish we tried to prove our equations by using the CN towers continuous metal staircase of 1776 as a Super Staircase.

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