For Educators - The Lab Puzzle

Working With Specific Puzzles

The Lab Puzzle

The goal of this group of puzzles is to follow a recipe by combining the correct amounts of four different ingredients. The three measuring cups provided may not match the quantities specified in the recipe, so players must transfer the ingredients between measuring cups, sometimes in multiple combinations, to obtain the correct amounts to add to the mixture in the vat.

In Level 1, the recipe amounts are expressed as integers (liters), and the sum of all four ingredients in the recipe equals the total volume of the vat.

In Level 2, the recipe amounts are expressed as fractions of the total recipe, and the player must determine the correct amounts based on the total volume of the vat.

In Level 3, the amounts are expressed as integers (liters), and the sum of the four ingredients in the recipe is a multiple or fraction of the total volume of the vat. The player must scale the recipe to fill the vat with the correct proportion of each ingredient.

Players may also transfer ingredients from one measuring cup into another measuring cup, the vat, or the waste pipe. The waste pipe is a container into which players can empty a measuring cup when it contains an ingredient that they do not want to add to the vat. This allows players to finish working with one ingredient so they can dispense another or to pour out an ingredient that they no longer need. When the maximum capacity of the waste pipe has been reached, the player can no longer empty any measuring cup into the waste pipe.

A round of play is over when players have finished following the recipe and/or the vat is full. At the conclusion of a round of play, a graph will appear that indicates the percentage of the amount of the ingredient added by the player relative to the required amount.

Math Discussion Terms
Fraction, whole number, common denominator, numerator, denominator, least common denomination, least common multiple, prime factors, numerical expression, algebraic expression, variable

Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum Alignment

Standard 1.0 Knowledge of Algebra, Patterns, and Functions
Topic B Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities
Indicator 1 Write and evaluate expressions

Grade 6:
Objective a - Add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers and express answers in simplest form
Objective b - Multiply fractions and mixed numbers and express in simplest form

Grade 7:
Objective b - Add, subtract, and multiply positive fractions and mixed numbers

Standard 6.0 Knowledge of Number Relationships and Computation/Arithmetic
Topic A Knowledge of Number and Place Value
Indicator 1 Apply knowledge of rational numbers and place value

Grade 6:
Objective c - Identify and determine equivalent forms of fractions as decimals, as percents, and as ratios
Grade 7:
Objective c - Determine equivalent forms of rational numbers expressed as fractions, decimal, percents, and ratios

Lesson Plans



Student Graphic Organizer for Lab Puzzle

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