Problem Set Introduction

Dear Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival Organizers,

Congratulations on getting your festival off the ground!

The next step is to choose your problem sets from our collection. Of course you are welcome to choose whichever problem sets you like; but for your convenience we have made some suggestions for different age ranges: K-3, 2-6, 4-8, and 6-12. For each age range, there are suggested lists for three festivals. If your festival will have more than 100 participants, then you may want to offer more problem sets, for example by including some of the problem sets suggested for the second festival in the first festival. The lists for each age range also suggest some problem sets for kids a little older or younger, in case you have a slightly different age range.

Note that some of the problem sets require some supplies. In most cases these will only cost a few dollars. There are also a few fantastic problem sets which require purchasing certain games or puzzles. Some of these are suitable for a wide variety of ages and can be used again from one festival to the next. My favorites are Chocolate Fix, Spot It, and Tower of Hanoi, all of which can be used for students in grades K-12. Younger kids may just want to play the games, but there are also associated problem sets for older kids which expore the underlying mathematics. Other great game options are Battle Sheep, Blokus, Dimension, Ghost, and Set.

A festival with 100 participants should probably have 10 or 11 tables. To figure out how many copies of a problem set to make, assume kids will spend 20-30 minutes at a table.

Problem Suggestions:

Click on the links below to see the problem suggestions we have made for different age groups: