Sophia, Elizabeth, Alexis and Grace have to walk through a long dark tunnel. They only have one torch between them so a maximum of two people can go through the tunnel at any one time. Each person takes a different amount of time to get through the tunnel and if two people walk together they must walk at the rate of the slowest.
Sophia takes 2 minutes, Elizabeth takes 4 minutes, Alexis takes 7 minutes, Grace takes 9 minutes. What is the least amount of time for all four to walk through the tunnel? 
Notes: 
Example:
If Alexis and Grace walk through the tunnel together it will take 9
minutes, If Alexis then walks the torch back through the tunnel a total of 16 minutes will have passed. Continue till all four are at the other end of the tunnel.
Topics: Starter  Logic  Problem Solving  Puzzles
How did you use this starter? Can you suggest
how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive
feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
Click here to enter your comments.
Previous Day  This starter is for 8 February  Next Day
23 minutes:
Sophia and Elizabeth walk through taking 4 minutes
Sophia walks back with the torch taking 2 minutes [6 minutes total]
Alexis and Grace walk through taking 9 minutes [15 minutes total]
Elizabeth walks back with the torch taking 4 minutes [19 minutes total]
Sophia and Elizabeth walk through taking 4 minutes [23 minutes total]
Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter with different numbers and names.
Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items I have chosen and recommend to get you started. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases which helps pay for the upkeep of this website.
Teacher, do your students have
access to computers? 

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Transum.org/go/?Start=February8
Here is the URL which will take them to Tran Tunnels, a mathematical adventure.