Intergalactic Adventure - Challenge 3

Ready for a mathematical space adventure? Complete your Intergalactic Passport Application Form and prepare for a journey to the Planet Turasmara.

Created by Scottish Mathematical Council

An image of a galaxy with red and black colour nuances, and white shining stars.

Challenge 3: Pollution

Just like Planet Earth, Turasmara has a lot of pollution in its ocean. This is the result of too many plastic items being used and thrown away. Your mission is to help clear the ocean. Luckily, the plastic items have all been numbered, so you can use some clever maths to remove them.


To clear the ocean you must pick 2 numbers from the ocean floor (smaller numbers work best). Multiply the two numbers together and if the PRODUCT (answer) is also on the ocean floor ALL 3 numbers can be removed.


An example of this might be to pick 6 and 2.

  • 6 x 2 = 12
  • The numbers 6, 2 and 12 are all in the ocean so they can all be removed.
  • You can 'remove' the numbers by crossing them out.

Why not make the game and play with a partner? Use a different colour each to cross out the numbers. The winner is the person who removes most pollution from the ocean.

Make it bigger!

To turn this challenge in to a more active game, copy the number grid onto big sheets of paper and place it on the floor.

Then get 3 beanbags, and take it in turns to thrown the beanbags on to the grid.

If the beanbags you throw land on three numbers that make a PRODUCT calculation (for example 6 x 2 = 12) then you can remove (cross off) these numbers from the ocean. If not, the numbers remain in the game, and your partner takes a turn.

As before, the winner is the person who removes most pollution from the ocean.

(If you are arriving at the Intergalactic Adventure on this page, you can go back to the Introduction and Challenge 1 to start you off)

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