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May 2004, Volume 97, Issue 5

FEATURES

The Galactic Spaceship Tour Challenge
Bill Engel, Diane Schmidt
A mathematical challenge in which students plan a futuristic spaceship tour of five planets. Students work in teams to determine the best way to maximize profits. Travel considerations include distance, fuel costs, ticket pricing and additional challenges. Students use basic algebra to analyze costs.

Discovering Steiner Triple Systems through Problem Solving
Bharath Sriraman
How ninth graders solved several recreational problems involving the construction of Steiner triple systems, culminating in the discovery of the underlying combinatorial structure of these problems. It further illustrates the powerful mathematical ideas that become accessible to students in the process of solving novel combinatorial problems.

Pick's Theorem: What a Lemon!
Alan Russell
The growth of both a teacher and an activity. The growth was fostered by listening to students and drawing connections across mathematical disciplines. The activity applies Pick's Theorem to areas of figures on a geoboard and can be applied across many content areas.

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