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Solving Mysteries Using Equations

Students as seen in these school photos were provided with some basic mathematical information and asked to solve a problem. It was a delectable problem as inside a ‘mystery’ box was the result of their efforts, candy.

The questions were as follows:

  1. I have a total of four pieces of candy.
  2. The number of orange pieces of candy is the same as the number of strawberry pieces of candy.
  3. Write two equations with the information showing your work.
  4. What is inside your mystery box?

The Mystery Box activity is a fun way for students to be introduced to the unit on Systems of Equations. It is a real-world context that students convert into multiple mathematical representations. Using the given information and their multiple representations, students can guess exactly how many of which flavors of Starbursts are in their mystery box.

“At the end of the activity, students get to open their mystery box and see if their guess is correct. The best part is that they get to eat the Starburst from their mystery box!“ explained Algebra 1 Teacher Nadia Shams.