Hot Food and Weather

This is a brief newsletter for the month of July because many of you will have your thoughts focused on the end of term and the holidays. Let’s begin with the puzzle of the month. Can you find five different integers that multiply together to give 12? The answer is at the end of this newsletter.

In the northern hemisphere it’s summer time and here in the UK we are in the middle of an uncharacteristic hot spell. The back garden has become an extension to the house and I am typing this sitting on a plastic chair at a plastic table. The Maths that I think of as I look at the garden is the mathematics of nature. I see Fibonacci numbers in the petals and spirals and remember the great time in the past when pupils have enjoyed the great outdoors doing the Scavenger Hunt and People Maths. This activity suggestion comes with a sun screen and hydration warning!


As I have done a lot of travelling in June there have not been as many new additions to the website as during a typical month but I can tell you about Recipe Ratios, a series of short exercises based on recipes for Thai dishes. They complement the other ratio exercises on the website and come complete with the full method in case you fancied cooking the delicious Siamese food.

Bottles, Boxes and Cans is an activity with two levels. Level one is a drag and drop challenge to match the photograph of a container with its capacity. Level two is a little harder, a more traditional exercise on volume and capacity.

The puzzle of the month is actually the new Starter of The Day for June 12th. It is called Weather Report and puts the puzzle in the context of mean temperatures. The answer is -1, 1, -2, 2, 3.

If this was too easy for you (or your students) there is an extension provided as a new Advanced Starter. What other products of five numbers (less than 100) would have given unique solutions? The answer to that is at the bottom of the Weather Reports page.

I’m off to visit Bletchley Park on Tuesday to see the location of the top-secret codebreaking operation during the Second World War. There is a great amount of mathematics involved in deciphering messages as can be seen in the Code Cracking presentation. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the topic in next month’s newsletter.

That’s all for now,


P.S. Calendars, their days are numbered.