Covid-19 Challenging Maths Investigation.

If any of your are still not sure what Covid-19 is and why social distancing helps, watch this clip here for children.

Some of you might have heard about this thing called the "R" which stands for the Reproduction Rate of the virus. That means how many people one infected person could pass it on to. This tells us how contagious or catching it is.

For the virus to die out in the UK it needs to be less than 1. Because we have stayed at home, the R is now less than 1 and going down. Why is that?


Look carefully at the chart below with the R going down from 1 to 0. What do you notice? Can you spot any patterns?

In a notebook, copy and complete the table by filling in the gaps:

Now explore:

An easy way to start exploring for yourself might be to think of the R = 0.5. That means 10 people will infect 5 more.

Can you draw a way to represent this using pictures, doodles or symbols?

Can you represent it using objects? You could use anything, lego, counters, coins, soft toys, pencils, pieces of modelling clay to stand in for people.

For example, when we first went in to lock down, The R was very high, 2.5 and could be represented like this:

How many different ways can you think of to represent R = 0.5?

If you would like to show me your ideas, you can take a picture and send it to me at: I would love to see your maths thinking and creativity!

Have fun playing with the numbers,


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