Suggested Citation: Hamilton, G. & MathPickle.com. (2021). Bubbling Cauldrons. In S. Bowen (Ed.), Math Circle Activity Database. American Institute of Mathematics. https://mathcircles.org/activity/bubbling-cauldrons

Bubbling Cauldrons

  • Activity Description
  • Topics Covered
  • Session Styles
  • Mathematical Practices
Place our numbers into the cauldrons in ascending order – you can choose which cauldron each one goes in. However, if two numbers in one cauldron add up to a third number in that same cauldron, they bubble up and cause an explosion! This means that all the numbers, leave the cauldrons, and you must start all over again. Our goal is to find the largest number we can place in our cauldrons without them exploding… do you think you’re up for this daunting task?

Activity Handouts

Click on a handout to open in Google Drive or use the buttons below to download all handouts

Activity Guide

This guide looks at the activity in detail and goes into the underlying math.

Desmos Activity

Students can work through the activity and answer questions. Teachers can assign work to students, view work, and control activity pace.

Digital App

Presented as Lady Bugs gathering on leaves, this app created by JRMF allows students to play through the activity or create their own problems.

Photos & Videos

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