Do the math! Mum begs for help to solve her daughter’s tricky numeracy homework – so, can YOU work out the answer?

  • Alison Kindred, from Newport, Wales, was stumped by daughter’s homework
  • Took to Facebook group ‘family lockdown tips & ideas’ to ask others for help
  • Many were confused by answer, while some suggested pizza was best solution 

A homework question intended for a secondary school student has left grown adults scratching their heads.  

Mum Alison Kindred, from Newport, Wales, has taken to Facebook group family lockdown tips & ideas penned: ‘Are there any mathematicians out there who can help with my daughter’s homework? 

‘She can’t remember how to do b) and it’s been 26 years since I did any maths?’ 

While some shared their attempts at solving the question and suggested the answer is ‘X to the power of 2 over 3’, others were left stumped.  

Alison Kindred, from Newport, Wales, has taken to Facebook group family lockdown tips & ideas penned: 'Are there any mathematicians out there who can help with my daughter's homework? (pictured)

Alison Kindred, from Newport, Wales, has taken to Facebook group family lockdown tips & ideas penned: ‘Are there any mathematicians out there who can help with my daughter’s homework? (pictured)

The confused mum took to the Facebook group to ask whether any mathematicians could help with her daughter's homework (pictured)

The confused mum took to the Facebook group to ask whether any mathematicians could help with her daughter’s homework (pictured)

‘Maths makes me want to curl up in a ball or do I mean a solid sphere?’ wrote one, while a second penned: ‘This has just made me realise I need to brush up on my maths before my boy gets to this stage. I can’t remember having these questions 31 years ago.’

However, others suggested that rather than logic, food was the only reasonable answer.

‘The answer is pizza. Have pizza, forget the insane maths and maybe watch some telly,’ joked one. 

‘I would have known how to work this out back in 2001 but now… Not a chance.’ 

Many took to the comment section to share their handwritten answers to the tricky question (pictured)

Many took to the comment section to share their handwritten answers to the tricky question (pictured)

THE ANSWER 

Patricia Warner, a Maths teacher at www.schoolexams.co.uk, explained: 

‘Part a is straightforward – a positive index in the denominator becomes negative when moved to the numerator.

Answer A: X^(-3) 

For part b, the cube root of a number written in index form is that number to the power of one third. 

When you raise an index to another index you multiply. 2 x 1/3 =2/3

Answer B:  X^(2/3)’

A second simply joked that the answer ‘= 1 bottle of wine…’

Elsewhere, some avoided attempting to solve the tricky question altogether and instead saw it more as an opportunity to express their views on the subject. 

‘What is the actual point in these when we don’t ever use them in our life?! Lol,’ wrote one, while a second penned:

‘I don’t even remember doing this at school, I’m going to really struggle when my children start senior school!’

A third added: ‘I have to say, when my daughter brings home work like this I have to ask myself of what purpose in life is this? 

‘And why does she need to know about the number of electrons in each shell?’

However, luckily a math teacher contributed to the debate and explained: 

‘If we have 1 /x^(-5) we can rewrite is as x ^(5) so if we were to write x^(-3) with a positive index it would be 1 / x^3 and (vice versa – Rule 5).

The second questions answer is x^(2/3) (Rule 6) tell her to look over the Indices rules and good luck with her studies.’

Taking to the comments section, one person penned: 'Maths makes me want to curl up in a ball or do I mean a solid sphere?' (pictured)

Taking to the comments section, one person penned: ‘Maths makes me want to curl up in a ball or do I mean a solid sphere?’ (pictured)

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