Click here for the Problem Extension Worksheet version of the Problems of the Week.
Click here for an MS Word version of the Problems of the Week.
Click here for the Canadian Problem Extension Worksheet version of the Problems of the Week.
Click here for a Canadian MS Word version of the Problems of the Week.

Lower Elementary:
Question: Anthony sails 9,500 miles from Turkey to Peru. If Anthony takes the same route back to Turkey from Peru, how far will he have sailed in total?
Answer: 19,000 miles
Solution: Anthony’s route from Turkey to Peru and back again is 9,500 + 9,500 = 19,000 miles in total. Remember to carry the 1 in the thousands place!
Upper Elementary:
Question: Nellie puts a batch of pies into the oven at 6:17 AM. When they go into the oven, the internal temperature of the pies is 60° Fahrenheit. The temperature increases at a rate of 2.5° per minute. If Nellie wants the internal temperature of the pies to reach 160°, at what time should she take them out of the oven?
Answer: 6:57 AM
Solution: In order to increase to 160°, the internal temperature of the pies will need to rise 160° – 60° = 100°. Since 100° ÷ 2.5° per minute = 40 minutes, it’ll take 40 minutes for the pies to bake. So, Nellie should take them out of the oven at 6:57 AM.
Middle School:
Question: It takes a barber 12 minutes to shave a face and 30 minutes to give a haircut. The barber works for 3 hours straight and spends twice as much time shaving faces as he does giving haircuts. If none of his customers get both a haircut and a shave, then how many customers does he see in total?
Answer: 12 customers
Solution: If the barber spends twice as much time shaving faces as he does giving haircuts, he must spend 2 hours shaving faces and 1 hour giving haircuts. Since it takes 12 minutes to shave a face, the barber shaves 5 faces per hour–that’s 10 in 2 hours. Each haircut takes 30 minutes, so he can give 2 haircuts in an hour. That means he sees 10 + 2 = 12 customers.
Algebra and Up:
Question: A cottage by the sea has a value of $750,000, which has increased at an annual rate of 5% for the past 10 years. How much was the cottage worth 10 years ago? You may use your calculator.
Answer: $460,434.94
Solution: The value of the cottage is currently $750,000, and it was worth C dollars 10 years ago. If its value has increased 5% each year for the past 10 years, then we know that $750,000 = C × 1.0510. To solve for C, we divide $750,000 ÷ 1.0510 = $460,434.9402, which rounds to $460,434.94.