CIESEmath Activities List (Version 2.2)
Source: Original Version 1.0 developed at CIESE - Center for Innovation in Engineering & Science Education (2007)
Revised 6.18.19



Activity/Description
13 x 7 = 28
Watch Abbott and Costello do some mathematical hocus-pocus with multiplying 13 x 7 and getting an answer of 28. Explain how Costello cheated with place value to get an answer of 28.

Birthday problem
What is the probability that in a room of 25 people that 2 people share the same birthday? Use the applet to determine the probability experimentally.

Boutique Shop
At the Boutique shop the student plays the role of a store clerk who sells clothes. The main task is to handle the exchange of money and give correct change. In this example, the student is given $5.00 for an item that costs $4.22. The right change is 78ยข. What are the different ways you could make the necessary change?
Pool paths
Here you will find an unusual pool table. The dimensions are determined by the numbers on the border. Your Challenge: See if you can come up with a way to predict (1) what the number of touches will be for any given size pool table and (2) which corner the ball will end up in.

String Around the Earth Problem
Seymour Papert in his seminal work "Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas" (1980) writes about a classic problem from the perspective of trying to get inside and understand the mathematics behind our intuition that seems to go awry.

Tris or Untris
You will see 9 line segments (or straws) of various lengths. Make as many unique triangles as you can using these segments. Determine when any three segments or straws make a triangle. What if 2 of the sides are equal?

Fraction Tracks
In this two-player e-example, students take timed turns racing to the end of each fraction line by moving one or more of their markers to sum to a given fraction value. Options include a pass and restart button.
Buffon's Needle Surprise
The challenge in this activity is to see if the students can make a prediction about the likelihood of toothpicks landing on lines when dropped randomly using experimental and theoretical data. What does this have to do with circles? What's the Surprise?

The Famous Jinx Puzzle
Pick a number,  Add 11, multiply by 6, subtract 3, divide by 3, Add 5, Divide by 2, Subtract the original number. Why is this called the Jinx puzzle?

Family Fractions & the Weird Number
Today you are going to be a fraction that lives in Number Town. The ID card on your desk has your name on it (for example, 3/4) and a picture ID. Each of you belongs to a family. There are 5 families in the room. Your task is to find your family members and sit down with them.

The Factor Game
This is a large group activity. Split the class into 2 groups and assign a captain to each group. On the white board tape 16 3x5 cards numbered from 1 to 16.

Exterior Angle of a Triangle
What is the relationship between the exterior angle and the non-adjacent angles of a triangle?