This tool features a problem-solving activity in which you must transfer blocks of different sizes from one tower to another. The activity is based on a game invented by the French mathematician, Edouard Lucas, in 1883. The rules are that you can only move one block at a time and that a larger block may never lie on top of a smaller one. The applet lets you set the number of blocks (the more blocks, the greater the difficulty).
Students can use this to develop problem-solving strategies. Make sure to ask students to write down their strategies and to share them with the class. Try to decide which strategies work the best. This resource can be used by a variety of grade levels but younger students should work with smaller number of blocks. Students at the high-school level should focus on trying to move the blocks using the smallest number of moves.
The Lemelson Foundation -- The Inventor's Pathway
6-12 | Video
Bedtime Math App
K-12 | Interactive
Virtual Laboratories in Probability and Statistics
9-12 | Interactive