Intro & Contents: MYP 2-3 Puzzlers

For students, The Puzzler is a weekly challenging, critical thinking skills question that should keep you on your toes and thinking. They are thought provoking and based on either real-life situations I, or others, have come across, or they come from puzzler-type books or web pages  collected over the years. So, don’t be surprised if you find these or  similar problems elsewhere, in a book or another website.

Since mathematics is the language of science, some Puzzlers will have a mathematics slant, however all will involve problem solving and the ability to think critically, the very attributes we expect of scientists.

My own students would have about a week to struggle with the question, to talk with their parents and other folks, research as necessary then to write-up the answer in the proper Puzzler format. The write-up cannot just be a rehash of what someone else has told them or what they found elsewhere; it must display their understanding of the concepts involved, as well as both the problem and solution.

Their write-ups would then be assessed using Criterion B (Communication) and Criterion C (Scientific Knowledge and Understanding). Check the task-specific rubrics for details.

sample Puzzler and write up has been included in this blog.

Term 1 Puzzlers

  1. Hot Day
  2. Rotation Counter
  3. Two Cannon Balls
  4. Propelling the Boat
  5. Card Stack
  6. Salad Dressing
  7. Shut Door

Term 2 Puzzlers

  1. The Chicken Truck
  2. The Brick and The Dinghy
  3. The Pendulum
  4. Winter Puzzler
  5. Don’t Lick That Tray
  6. Bottle and Coin
  7. From Fermi to the Frying Pan

Term 3 Puzzlers

  1. Hole in Tea Pot
  2. Accident in Space
  3. A Touch of Chill
  4. Space Travel
  5. Woof, It’s Cold
  6. Frozen Over
  7. Falling Elevator


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