Posts Tagged ‘m&m’


3. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths

October 10, 2016


Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

mathspig-at-icme-hamburg-2016Mathspig tried the m&m Algebra Challenge in her ICME 13 Workshop in Hamburg.

BUT … I bought PEANUT m&ms. OH Nooooooooo!

They were the WRONG SHAPE. Deformed m&ms bounced everywhere. All I could do was collect the m&ms in my gloved hands and hand them out to the workshop participants. They seemed to enjoy the failure.

But Mathspig does not give up that easily.

Here is the m&m ALGEBRA CHALLENGE with PLAIN m&ms.



1. Open a packet of PLAIN m&ms. (Wear white Gloves like the m+ms)

2. TIP onto table. (Put a few books around the edge to define an area.)

3. Sort the m&ms into:

m -UP pile.

m-DOWN pile.

4. REMOVE the m-UP pile.

5. PICK up m-DOWN pile and TIP again.

6. REPEAT until only 1 m+m is left.

The pattern should follow the exponential equation here:


Did it work? Check it out below.


Who knew one family packet had 366 m+ms?

You’ll find a worked ‘theoretical’ example here.


Here’s the ANSWER:


Try it. Middle school students have to see

that applying maths in the real world can be tricky but logical.

And a lot of FUN too.


MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig …………………………………………………. with Kerry Cue

July 10, 2015

Mathspig m&m maths intro

Hellooooo My Little Sweeties,

There is so much maths you can do with m&ms, it’s hard to believe there is any other sort of maths.

You can study:

Countingtimes tables, set theory, Bar graphs, Fractions, % and decimalsMean, median, modeand parabolas (using a really cool peg-powered catapult).

But my favouritest ,developed by Patrick Len, is using m&ms to demonstrate half life in radioactive substances and therefore write an exponential equation.


m&ms  table

Throw a fixed no. m&ms on a table. Mathspig chose 128 m&ms for a very good reason. Eat the ones with the m showing. Count remainder. Throw again. Eat the ones with the m showing. Count remained. Keep doing this. You will end up with results like the following. (Not identical as chance is involved)

mathspig   m&m maths exponential fn  2

Wow! m&m’s and exponential equations. How yummy is that!!!!!!

More yummy maths:

m+m maths 1: find the volume using m+ms!

m+m maths 2: Guess, NO, calculate the number of m+ms in a jar!

m+m maths 3: how many m+ms will kill you?

m+m maths 4: How many m+ms will kill my dog?

m+m maths 5: how many m+ms will kill my cat?

m+m maths 6: How many m+ms will kill my pet rat?

m+ms maths 7: how many m+ms will kill my pet mouse?

Mmmmmmm! Can’t talk. Face full of chocolate.

Bye bye



m+m maths 1: find the volume using m+ms!

July 6, 2015

mathspig m&m maths 1

Are you bored by doing volume calculations?

Are you looking for a new and exciting way to calculate the volume of, well, things maths teachers ask you to calculate the volume of? Like what? You know, cubes or cylinders or cones or stuff. Well, today mathspiggies, we have the perfect solution for you. Yes!

We will calculate volume by counting m&ms!!!!  Do I hear any complaints???? Anyone!!! Right!

WARNING: You may need a ship load of m&ms!!! Just saying.

Mathspig salutes CWanamaker for doing maths over and above the call of duty by actually measuring how many m&ms fit in various containers. He has provided us with the RPR (RAndom Packing Ratio) for m&ms(below) and you will find his experiments here.

Mathspig m&m maths 1 stats

Two things you may need to know:

   1 fl ounce (US) = 29.6 ml

              1cm3  = 1 ml 

Mathspig m&m maths 2

mathspig m&m maths 3

If you are like me, mathspiggies, you will be amaaaazed how many m&ms it takes to fill, say, a coffee mug. Nevertheless, you can calculate the volume from the no. of m&ms and you will find the answers here:m&m maths answers