This MEI activity features a number of worked examples of questions that can be tackled using the process of Fermi estimation. The questions provide further and more in-depth exemplifications of the approaches introduced in the MEI task ‘Making estimates from limited data’, which is also suitable for Core Maths students.
Number and Measure
This task should be accessible to all Core Maths students. You may choose to introduce the topic using the MEI activity ‘Making estimates from limited data’.
Pearson / Edexcel
The activity is quite self-contained, with the combined teacher/student sheet providing both a selection of suitable questions and a detailed commentary showing how each of the questions could be introduced by the teacher and tackled by the students.
The activity is provided as a single document containing Teacher notes with example questions embedded throughout. The questions are also collated into a Student sheet at the end of the resource.
Students could use spreadsheets to explore the effect of varying the estimated values used in calculations; the resource provides examples of how this could be done.
The resource provides suggestions for websites where further examples of Fermi estimation questions can be found.
Developed by MEI, with funding from the Department for Education as part of the Critical Maths project to develop a post-16 mathematical thinking curriculum based on ideas from Professor Sir Timothy Gowers - http://www.mei.org.uk/critical-maths