ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA
PRIME NUMBER: VOLUME 35, NUMBER 2. 2020
© The Mathematical Association of Victoria
Movie clips can be an effective way to contextualise mathematical problems and engage students. These challenging tasks use a
short video clip as a prompt to launch the problem. Thanks to Howie Hua (Twitter: @howie_hua) for this task idea.
James Russo, Monash University and Toby Russo, Spensley Street Primary School
World’ from the animated version of
Travelling on the magic carpet, Aladdin
and Jasmine pass the Pyramids of
Giza. 18 seconds later, they are seen in
Athens. How many km/h was the carpet
It is approximately 1100 kilometres
between Cairo and Athens ‘as the crow
to travel this distance, what speed is it
Compare the speed of the magic carpet
with other vehicles. How much faster is
it? How does its top speed compare with
the speed of the quickest jet? Your family
car? You riding a bike?
How did students in your class approach the above investigation? Share your class’s experience with the Prime Number editorial
team (firstname.lastname@example.org), for the opportunity to have it published in Prime Number as a resource to share with other
teachers and students. If possible, try and include photographs of work samples, as well as students engaging in the task.
Watch Coin Operated. Imagine one 5c
coin propels his rocket 50cm, but this
is not enough. He needs more. Space is
100km away. How many 5c coins does
he need to become a real astronaut who
has been to outer space?
Draw a table to help you.
100cm or 1m
1000m or ?
70 years passes and he charges 10c for
lemonade. How many cups did he need
to sell per day to travel to outer space?
How many helium balloons do you think
it takes to lift the house in Up. Make an
estimate and justify your reasoning. (If
possible, consider providing students
How many balloons might cover
picture to help you estimate. How many
Can you estimate the weight of the
house? Can you estimate how much
weight one balloon can lift? How many
helium balloons do you think it takes to
lift you off the ground and into the sky?