topic badge
Hong Kong
Stage 1 - Stage 3

Use algebra in context



When we see something such as this,  it can be easy to spot the pattern. We have also seen how we can identify patterns in numbers, but there are often patterns in our everyday lives that we can use to help solve problems.

From scoring a game of football, to how beds on a school camp are arranged, a pattern can be very useful if we identify it. Many sports and games have patterns in them, so does music! Even the way passwords are set can involve patterns.

Let's look at how to identify and describe a simple pattern in Video 1. We're going on a school camp, so pack your bags, and grab ain the camp hall!

Making a rule

Now we are going to see how to create a rule to calculate the total score in a game. In this game, players can score different amounts, depending on where they kick the ball. With our rule, we can calculate the total score for any team.

When things change, rules can be modified so we can still use them, rather than having to start all over again. It's just as well, because Spud has to work out the total score when the rules change, and he's a bit worried. Watch how Spud makes a simple change to the rule to adjust to the new rules.

using the rules

Now it's time to hire a car to go to the end of year social.

Before you do that though, you have to compare prices. Their pricing methods vary though, so we need to come up with a rule that shows us how each company charges us. Our variables are going to help us again, since we may not know yet how many friends are coming along in our car. Let's have a look at this in Video 3.

Let's compare

Why not use this applet to compare the 3 car companies, by changing the number of students, our variable. By dragging the slider along, you can change the number of students from $1$1 to $8$8. Then, you can look at the y-axis to see the total cost for each company. 


What is Mathspace

About Mathspace