8th Grader Pens Creative Algebra Problem About Star Wars, J.J. Abrams

Illustration for article titled 8th Grader Pens Creative Algebra Problem About Star Wars, J.J. Abrams

An eighth grader by the name of Cody was asked by an instructor to convert an algebraic expression into a word problem. Cody was happy to oblige – and with an ample helping of Star Wars references, no less.

Bob Swanek (Cody's father, we presume) posted the above photo of Cody's problem online. "This is the end result," Swanek the elder writes, "with zero input from me." If this word problem reflects the real-world progress of Episode VII in any way, the film may be in trouble. Here it is, transcribed:

J. J. Abrams is making Star Wars Episode 7. He rented three speeder bikes which was 700 imperial credits to start. He must pay 100 imperial credits to keep his speeder bikes daily. If he does not pay daily, Prince Xizor and other Black Sun members will kidnap J. J. Abrams, bring him to Mustafar, and sacrifice him.

J. J. Abrams is also paying 5 bounty hunters to keep separatist spies out. That costs 200 imperial credits to start, then 50 imperial credits for each bounty hunter every time they capture a spy. The Separatists send 2 spies every day.

In how many days does J. J. Abrams spend the same amount of imperial credits on speeders and bounty hunters?


I don't know what I find more impressive – Cody's obvious facility with numbers and the formulation of word problems (something I still struggle with), or his familiarity with the larger Star Wars universe.

H/t Neatorama

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The problem is impossible to solve. We do not know how many of the spies that the separatists send are actually caught by the bounty hunters, so we lack sufficient information.

On a less annoying note, THIS IS AWESOME! I wish I'd had pupils like that when I taught secondary.