Bases and number systems

This collection contains resources from the website 1001mathproblems.com by Sian Zelbo. The focus is on alternative number bases. With the increased focus in schools on computer science, these materials make an ideal introduction to working in bases other than base 10. Each topic is introduced in the form of a puzzle, many of which have several different solutions. The materials are ideal for use with Key Stage 3 students.  

Resources

Pig problem

This problem uses number bases. Farmers identify a pig by using notches in different parts of the pig’s ears. Pictures of four pigs are presented and the challenge is to work out the code. A final challenge is to represent a given number. This resource is suitable for Key Stage 3.

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Ancient number system problem

A number system of symbols is presented in three additions. The initial problem is to work out what each symbol represents and then to find out how to count from 1 to 20 using the symbols. This resource is suitable for Key Stage 3.

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Cryptarithms

A series of symbols is presented in four additions. The challenge is to work out the number that each symbol represents. Solving the problem involves the use of logical thinking using base 10. The resource is suitable for Key Stage 3.

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