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Travelling Salesperson

The aim of a travelling salesperson problem is to visit every vertex of the network and return to the starting vertex using the route that has the minimum total weight. The problem requires students to find the best route for a courier to take to deliver parcels to a number of towns and return back to base.

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Transportation

The cost of transportation is a key factor for many industries. This activity features a classic transportation problem giving the outputs of two suppliers, the demands of two consumers and the associated transportation costs. Students are asked to find the minimum transportation cost to meet the demand. Students...

Tin Can Design

Tin cans come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In this activity students consider the net of a tin can, the formula for the total surface area and the formula for the volume of the can. The first problem requires students to express the total surface area as a function of r by eliminating h. The second problem...

Space Math I - VI

This series of activities from NASA are based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to teachers in the US, from 2004 to 2010. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum, from ages 9 to 19 years.

The problems were...

Solar Math

This series of activities from NASA take a mathematical approach to looking at the Sun-Earth system. They are intended as supplementary problems for students looking for additional challenges in mathematics and physical science from age 11 to 16 years.

The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of...

Silver Award: Squeaky Clean

These materials look at three possible projects that relate to cleaning products and tackling microbes that spread disease: * Communications project - students act as health promotion specialists trying to persuade people about the need to wash hands after using the toilet. * Practical project - students...

Silver Award: Future Travel

These materials look at three possible projects that relate to sustainable transport:

* Communications project - students gather information and produce a balanced view on the costs and benefits of using hydrogen as fuel for vehicles.

* Practical project - students investigate the factors that affect...

Route Inspection

The aim of the route inspection problem is to find a route that is as short as possible yet goes down every road once and returns to the starting point. The task informs students that there has been a heavy snowfall overnight and that the students are required to clear the roads in the town centre as quickly as...

Reduction Mill

The reduction mill reduces the thickness of a strip of steel using a series of rollers, each roller making the steel slightly thinner. The percentage reduction is constant on each pair of rollers. The mathematics used to calculate the actual reduction is similar to that used when calculating compound interest....