Geometry 3-B-2 Solving Lateral Thinking Problems

Eggs in a Basket

There are six eggs in the basket. Six people each take one of the eggs. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

I have to admit that this puzzle stumped me.  I thought about all ways that the six people could take an egg.  Was it possible for 2 people to take the same egg?  Maybe someone put their egg back and another person took it?  So, my first possible solution was that someone took an egg but did not keep the egg; they put it back in the basket.  I finally decided that everyone kept their egg, so the last person would have to take the basket with the last egg still in it.

Manhole Covers

Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?

I think ultimately this question is classified as an evaluation question.  You can reach the evaluation level with guided questions that would also follow through as questions at the analysis and synthesis level.

On the “Analysis” level, you can think of the characteristics of a square vs. a circle.  What is different about the 2 shapes?

On the ‘Synthesis” level, you can discuss the different ways for the manhole to line up with the opening.  How can the shape be repositioned in the opening?  Construct a new design to make a manhole, compare and contrast the new design with the square and the circle.

On the “Evaluation” level, you can access the safety of the design. Why is it safe or not safe to have a circle vs. a square manhole?  Why is it not good to turn it certain ways? You could look at your new designs that were developed at the “Synthesis” level and check for safety too.  Another safety feature is moving the manhole cover. Is it easier to move a circular manhole cover or a square one, why? What are other safety features to consider when developing a manhole cover?  To able to avoid an injury is crucial.  With today’s company’s being safety conscious, questions at the “Evaluation” level are very important.

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