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Arrange the fifteen Scouts in 5 threeperson boats so that over the course of the seven days they share a boat with all of the other Scouts.


Transum.orgThis web site contains over a thousand free mathematical activities for teachers and pupils. Click here to go to the main page which links to all of the resources available. Please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions. 
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Mathematicians are not the people who find Maths easy; they are the people who enjoy how mystifying, puzzling and hard it is. Are you a mathematician? Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai: "It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages." Comment recorded on the 19 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Nikki Jordan, Braunton School, Devon: "Excellent. Thank you very much for a fabulous set of starters. I use the 'weekenders' if the daily ones are not quite what I want. Brilliant and much appreciated." 
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Numeracy"Numeracy is a proficiency which is developed mainly in Mathematics but also in other subjects. It is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. It involves developing confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques, and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands understanding of the ways in which data are gathered by counting and measuring, and presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables." Secondary National Strategy, Mathematics at key stage 3 

Go MathsLearning and understanding Mathematics, at every level, requires learner engagement. Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Sometimes traditional teaching fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of interactive activities and this web site provides many of those. The Go Maths main page links to more activities designed for students in upper Secondary/High school. TeachersIf you found this activity useful don't forget to record it in your scheme of work or learning management system. The short URL, ready to be copied and pasted, is as follows: 

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments. 
Richard, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Monday, July 29, 2019
"Hello,
I find the 'Scouts in Boats' puzzles very interesting. So far I have solved level one but I have not yet generalised my method. I think the same approach will work on level 2 but I see a problem with level 3. (In all the Transum pages I have visited, this is only the second problem I have discovered. The first was in Examstyle question 283: trapezium and rectangle.)
I think this puzzle will work as long as the following is true:
S  1 = (C  1) * D
where:
S is the number of scouts,
C is the capacity of one boat,
D is the number of days
and S must be a multiple of C.
Level 1:
9  1 = (3  1) * 4 OK
Level 2:
15  1 = (3  1) * 7 OK
Level 3:
20  1 != (4  1) * 5 Not OK!
For level 3, may I suggest:
16 scouts,
4 to a boat,
5 days:
16  1 = (4  1) * 5 OK
For further levels the numbers could be:
21 scouts,
3 to a boat,
10 days
28 scouts,
4 to a boat,
9 days
25 scouts,
5 to a boat,
6 days.
But then you might need to include names beginning with letters that are not in the English alphabet, such as Étienne or Željko.
Best regards,
Richard."
Transum,
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
"Thanks Richard. You are absolutely right. There was a problem with level 3 so I have removed it for the time being. In actual fact Level 3 was a slightly different puzzle. The wording should have been "Arrange the twenty Scouts in 5 fourperson boats so that over the course of the five days they do not share a boat with any Scout they have already shared with." [Note the word NOT in the description]. I now need to find a quiet room to see if your suggested other levels are actually possible then I will update this page.
What would the world be like without people like you Richard? You so kindly take the time to provide the feedback like that above. Thank you so much.
[Update 1st August 2019: I have replaced level 3 with your suggestion]"
Transum,
Thursday, August 1, 2019
"Update: Later on the 1st August 2019 I added a new, easier level and called it level 1. The previous levels 1, 2 and 3 are now levels 2, 3 and 4. This should be noted when reading the comments above that refer to the previous level numbers. All those who have already earned a trophy for this exercise have had the level numbers changed on their trophies in their virtual trophy cabinets!"