### Mr. Guthrie’s Students Challenge the Answer Key

On Friday afternoon during our GECDSB Middle Years Collaborative Inquiry Learning Fair, Craig Guthrie received a notification from his class Schoology account that a student had posted a question.

The student indicated that there was a question on the University of Waterloo Gauss Math Contest Practice Test that the class was debating over. The answer key stated one answer, but a number of students felt that the answer could not be correct.

### Gauss Math Contest Practice Question

The question students were at a disagreement over was the following:

The sum of 11 different whole numbers can be ______, but never less.

a) 11

b) 45

c) 55

d) 66

The answer key states that the answer is **a) 11**, but what do you think?

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## About Kyle Pearce

I’m Kyle Pearce and I am a former high school math teacher. I’m now the K-12 Mathematics Consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board, where I uncover creative ways to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in mathematics. Read more.

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1) looking at the definition of whole numbers, only positive integers are whole numbers therefore negative numbers can not be used in this problem

2) the question states “different” numbers, not sure if that then means that no number could be used twice in the question

thoughts??