Monday, August 2, 2010

Answers to the InspirUS Homework Questions

Earlier this week I posted a couple of homework questions from Lancaster Royal Grammar School’s InspirUS program. If you didn’t get them, don’t feel bad. These problems baffled just about every adult I showed them to. And just think: these are questions for students in grades 3 and 4! In case you don’t remember, here they are again:

1.) What Comes Next?

A E A P A U U U E _ _ _

U O U E _ _ _

P U U _

2.) The Next Line Would Be?

1
11
21
1211
111221

Still stumped? The answers require you to really think outside of the box.

Here’s a bit of explanation. For the first one, if you count the number of letters in each line (including blanks), you’ll notice that they are 12 - 7 - 4. Months, days of the week and seasons. A closer look reveals that these are the second letters of each month, day and season. jAnuary, fEbruary, sUnday, mOnday and so on. Just follow the pattern, and you’ll get:

A E A P A U U U E C O E

U O U E H R A

P U U I

The second one is even more devious. Each line describes the line before it. The first line is “1.” The second line describes that line. There is one 1, or 11. The third line follows suit, pointing out that there are two 1’s in the second line. The fourth line describes the one 2 and the one 1 of the previous line. This can go on forever! Here are the next few lines:

1
1 1
2 1
1 2 1 1
1 1 1 2 2 1
3 1 2 2 1 1
1 3 1 1 2 2 2 1
1 1 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 1

These gifted LRGS students are getting a first class education in creative problem-solving. Thanks so much to teacher Kathryn Page and LRGS Development Director Jenny Cornell for their exceptional work (and for sneaking me the answers!).