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Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI)

MEI is committed to improving mathematics education and promotes teaching and learning through different strands of activity. We support teachers through a range of professional development opportunities, including our annual conference. Innovative resources are continually being developed to extend and enrich your knowledge of mathematics, whether teacher, student, undergraduate or member of the workforce.

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Maths Item of the Month

December 2016
Sprouts

Sprouts is a pencil and paper game with the following rules:

  • Mark a number of dots anywhere on a sheet of paper.
  • Each player in turn draws a line joining a dot either to itself or to another dot and places a new dot on this line.
  • No line may cross either itself or any other line.
  • No dot may have more than three lines leaving it.
  • The last player able to make a legal move wins the game.

The first two moves from a game of Sprouts with 3 dots are shown below.

sprouts

Sprouts was devised by by mathematicians John Conway and Michael Paterson. For more details see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouts_(game)

Maths item of the month archive

A list of Maths Items of the Month categorised by GCSE/A level topics can be seen at: Maths Items of the Month Curriculum mapping.