3/4KB love their Youcubed maths sessions and today looked into mathematician Lothar Collatz’s conjecture (a statement believed to be true based on observations) that if you take any number (integer) and, if even, divide by 2 or odd, multiply by 3 and add 1, by following this procedure you will eventually arrive at 1.
Firstly, we investigated how hailstones are formed as this conjecture is called the hailstone sequence because hailstones move up and down through the atmosphere before landing on earth just as the numbers move up and down in the sequence. The children had fun role-playing the water cycle and hailstone formation.
Once finished we got stuck into testing out the conjecture. The class chose the number 26 and working together and in small groups discovered the sequence was as follows: 26-13-40-20-10-5-16-8-4-2-1. They wanted to continue testing out a larger number but we ran out of time so the students asked if they could have a hailstone maths activity included in their maths groups next week 🙂 I wonder how long the number sequence would be if we chose 27?