Buttons and boxes

Posted in 13 - Math, The wheel of luck


Suppose you have five buttons, each one a different color, and two boxes. How many ways can you combine the buttons on the boxes without repeating any combination?

Good, to start you can put four buttons in one box and one in the other. Then you can change that combination four times just by changing the button that is alone.

You have already achieved five different combinations. Can there be more combinations ?

Yes, there are. Do you think you can find them? Find five different colored buttons or five pieces of paper and give it a try. You don't even need the boxes; you just have to have separate groups. Use pencil and paper to write down each combination. This way you will be sure not to repeat any.

On the whole, including the five combinations we have already mentioned, There are sixteen different ways to combine the five colored buttons in the two boxes. After you have tried to make the combinations, check your results with the pictures on this page.

Here are the sixteen possible combinations. To make it easier to check your results, we have numbered the buttons of the 1 al 5.

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