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Maths with a space theme - Hubble celebrates 25 years

Monday, 13 April 2015
Another opportunity to put maths in context - celebrate the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on 24th April. To start you off, here is a logic problem set in a space context for Y4-5. It is easy for children to give up when they get stuck on a problem and knowing when and how to prompt groups or individuals when they are stuck is an important teaching skill. I’ve included some question prompts for the mystery to help with this.
This puzzle has six clues on separate cards and children work in small groups to solve the mystery.

Space maths mystery

Your task is to find out:

• What is the job of each of the four astronauts?

• How many space flights have they each been on?
Prompts if they get stuck…
Can you organise the information on a grid?
Give the group a sheet with a 5 x 5 grid on it. There is no set approach so they may put jobs down the side, names across the top and the number of flights written in each cell.
Brad has been on 12 space flights and is not an Engineer or Navigator.
Matt has been on 3 more flights than Luke but fewer flights than Dan. Matt is not the Engineer.
The astronaut with the fewest space flights is the Pilot. He has only had 4 flights.
Can you put any information in order, such as the number of flights?
Give them some blank cards and a ladder to place the cards on in order. They might start with sorting the number of flights using basic algebra such as:
Matt = Luke +3
Pilot = 4
Dan = Matt +2
Luke + Matt = commander -1
The total number of flights taken by Matt and Luke is one less than the Commander’s number of flights.
Four astronauts are on a mission to Mars and each has an important job to do. The Commander is the astronaut with the most space flights.
Dan has been on 2 more space flights than Matt and he is not the Navigator or Pilot.
Can you use trial and error – what if…?
Give them cards with the following on:
‘What if _______ was the pilot?’
‘What if _____ flights is the highest number of flights?’

Brad is the commander and has been on 12 flights.
Matt is the Navigator and has been on 7 flights.
Dan is the Engineer and has been on 9 flights.
Luke is the Pilot and has been on 4 flights
This game is from a pack of Mystery Worlds.

There is a set for each year  Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6 with 12 main mysteries  - one for each half term.  
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Accurate measuring and a recap on properties of shapes
Useful websites

The Hubble telescope has its own hubblesite, it has an education page (I've not looked at this in detail but it might be worth a look) and a gallery of great free-to-use images which are amazing (Saturn photo above is from here).
NASA has royalty-free resources - lots of lovely images with an education page.
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