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## Saturday, March 20, 2010

### 7th Grade POW: Captain Future

The title of this week’s POW was “Captain Future.” In this problem, Captain Future, Joan Rundall, Otho and Grag have to get over a bridge in 17 minutes. There has to be 3 trips going across the bridge and 2 trips coming back over the bridge because a metal box must guide 2 or less people across the bridge at a time. Captain Future can cross the bridge in 1 minute, Joan Rundall can cross the bridge in 2 minutes, Otho can cross the bridge in 5 minutes and Grag can cross the bridge in 10 minutes. With this information, I had to figure out a combination or combinations to get all four of the people to the other side of the bridge. This POW was a logic problem.

My first step in this POW was to draw a little diagram and write out some key information so I could use it as a reference whenever I needed it. Next, I started to think of a logical way to organize the four different people. I thought that maybe if I moved the two people who could cross the bridge in the least amount of time first, then I could find the answer. So, I tested this hypothesis and tried many different combinations. After a couple of attempts, I started to notice a pattern I think is key. Captain Future and Joan Rundall have to be the people who move both back and forth across the bridge. Using my new information, I was able to find a combination that was successful in 17 minutes. After finding the first combination, I simply switched around the order a little to see if there were any other possible combinations. I used some objects to help me visualize the combinations.

There are two possible combinations for crossing the bridge in 17 minutes. The first combination is Captain Future and Joan Rundall go over, Captain future comes back, Otho and Grag go over, Joan Rundall comes back and Captain Future and Joan Rundall go over. The second combination is Captain Future and Joan Rundall go over, Joan Rundall comes back, Otho and Grag go over, Captain future comes back and Captian Future and Joan Rundall go over. I know my solution is correct because I used objects to visualize the two combinations, added up the total number of minutes multiple times and checked with other students after I had solved the POW. There are no other possible answers to this problem because any other combination wouldn’t follow at least one of the specific rules for this POW.

This POW was interesting because it was a pretty simple logic problem with a bunch of twists, which made it more complicated than it seemed. The POW challenged me at first because I didn’t know how to go about starting the problem, initially. This POW reminded me of other logic problems we used to do in math class, where several trips had to be made to carry a certain number of objects. I managed my time extremely well this week and planned out the work load very nicely. Next time, I would like to try to use more than one visual reenactment to solve a logic problem.