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Problematic Primes

Some Year 8 students have been exploring the building blocks of numbers. They started by considering the picture below. Why have the numbers been coloured in the way that they have?

Problematic Primes


Once the students developed an understanding of how prime numbers built integers, they went on to probe their understanding further. How could a knowledge of prime numbers be used to answer questions like:

·        How many factors does the number 360 have?

·        Which numbers have an odd number of factors?

·        What is the smallest number with 14 factors?

·        Which number less than a 1000 has the most factors?

Some questions were left unanswered but that is the beauty of a mathematics problem, you can keep coming back to it.

Problematic Primes


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