Mathman 1 -
Algebra 1 Review (Sem)


Terrain: Moderate, some up and down steps/slopes

Difficulty: Depends on math ability

Placed by: The Dragon (Mathman) on May 11, 2003

Location: Milwaukee County

Materials needed: Rubber stamp, stamp pad/inking pens, calculator, compass, clues
Note: Do not attempt this box after or in a heavy rain.  The clues pass you through a gully and washout area which are usually fine during drier times.

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This box is the first in a series of letterboxes with mathematical clues.  The boxes are intended for both regular letterboxers and my students.  This box was developed for my Honors Algebra class to satisfy their request for an extra credit opportunity.  It also serves as a review for their second semester exam and for an activity to do together as a family.

Students and parents of students should read my introduction to letterboxing before seeking the boxes.




First, complete the following algebra problems.  The values of the variables will be inserted into the final clues.  Solve these problems before searching for the box.  If you’d like to check your answers before going to look for the box, see me or email your answers to me at .I’ll let you know if you’re "good to go”.

1) Solve the system: A=_____ 
2) Let C equal the number of roots the following equation has: C=_____
3) Let D and E be the bounds of the following compound inequality:   E=_____
4) Let F, G and H be their exponents when the following is simplified: G=_____

5) Let I and J be their exponents when the following is simplified: J=_____
6) Let K equal the value of the discriminant of K=_____
7) Let L, M, and N be the coefficients of the polynomial (respectively) that results when you subtract  from . M=_____

8) Let O be the upper bound and the P be the lower bound of the solution to the following absolute value inequality: P=_____

9) Let Q be the restricted value of the domain for the rational equation:

10) Let R be the smallest two digit number formed by placing the roots (solutions) of the following equation next to each other:  R=_____
11) Let S, T, and U be the coefficients of the polynomial (respectively) when the following is simplified: T=_____


(There will also be some problems you’ll have to solve while finding the box.)


Next, enter the values for A, B, C, etc you found into their respective places in the following clues.  Then go searching for the box.


Take I-43 to Hwy (A)______.  Take Hwy (A) _______ east until it ends and turns south and becomes Hwy (B) ______.  Continue on Hwy (B) ______ south for  miles when you will see a Fox Point-ing on your right and an entrance to a park on your left.  Turn left onto the park entrance road and take it to the end, then head left into the parking lot.  (Note: You might be able to determine the park to go to by looking at a map or using Mapquest.)  Park your car near the sign for Picnic Area (C) _____.


Stand beside the sign for Picnic Area (C) ______.  Take a bearing of ______ (D) degrees and walk _____ (E) paces to a blue pole.  Count the number of poles holding up the swings _____and the number of swings ______.  Take time to swing a bit.


Stand beside the blue pole you walked to (the SE pole).  Take a bearing of _____ (FGH together as a three digit number) degrees, and walk _____ (IJ together as a two digit number) paces through the playground and a small stand of trees to a memorial.


Read the plaque at the memorial.  On what date was the park accepted as a gift by the Milwaukee Common Council?  July ____, 1928.  How many stone pillars hold up the trellis?  ______  How many benches are here? ______ (Or are supposed to be here - one was missing last I checked!)


Stand at the end of the asphalt path to this area, between two of the benches.  Take a bearing of _____ (K) degrees and walk ______ (L) paces to a utility pole.  From the pole, take a bearing of ______ (M) degrees and walk _______ (N) paces to an opening in a tree line.  (Don’t get beaned by a soccerball!)


You should be at the top of an asphalt path leading down, with a rock wall to your right and a deep gorge beyond the wall.  Take the asphalt path down and count the number of railroad tie steps along the way ______.  The asphalt path will change to a dirt path, and you will quickly come to a place where the path “washes out” to the beach.  Walk towards the lake until you are about (the number of railroad tie steps) _____ feet from the water.  Take a bearing of ______ (O) degrees and walk along the beach at that bearing past ______ (P) piers.


Just past the _____th (P) pier there is a empty pole in the sand.  There used to be a sign about parking boats at the piers on the pole.


Now you have some more algebra to do.  Let’s say that the number of boats that are able to be docked at the park is inversely related to the number of piers.  What is the constant of variation if 58 boats can dock at the number of piers you’ve passed?  _____ The constant of variation is your new heading from the sign you are standing next to.  Enter the date the park was accepted as a gift in for x in the expression to find the number of paces you should head on that bearing.  ______ You should not get wet.  Describe the view you have in front of you:




To your left is a wide path (wide enough for a car).  Not far down this path is a stairs going up on the left.  Take the 16 steps up (the first is a big step up).  Take the short path through the trees to an open area with benches on your left and restrooms on your right.  Continue forward until you come to the end of the ______(Qth) bench on your left.  Take ______ (R) more paces to a brown and gold sign.  What does the sign say?



Close by, there are stairs leading up.  Go up the stairs counting the number of steps up along the way.  How many steps are there? _______


On top of the final stone step, take ______ (S) paces forward onto the grass.  Turn right 90 degrees.  Take ______ (S) paces again.  Take a bearing at ______ (T) degrees.  ______ (U) paces into the woods is a waist-high stump.  The letterbox is hidden under some loose bark inside the trunk, which is accessible from the top of the stump.

When the coast is clear, retrieve the box and take it to a nearby bench or picnic table.  Stamp the letterbox stamps on this sheet below, and stamp your stamp into the letterbox log book (be sure to do the extra “activity” requested of you in the directions on the inside flap of the logbook. Hint: Use the mechanical object found in the box.).  Write a nice note to me next to your stamp and date it.  Be sure to include the names of everyone with you.  Read what other people who have found the box have said.  Return all the letterbox parts into their bags and seal the bags tightly!  Replace the sealed bags into the box and seal the box tightly!  When no one is looking, return the box to the stump and recover it with the bark.  Return this completed activity sheet to me for grading.


Letterbox stamps:













For EXTRA extra credit, find Birkie Bob’s Boyhood Adventures 2 letterbox and stamp its stamp below:  (Make SURE you are doing box #2, not #1!!!!  They are both on the same webpage!)












Other letterboxes in the area include HooHooToo-Hoo, BirkieBob’s Boyhood Adventures 1 and Mt. Beiterman, my Buffy Box, and a few at Brown Deer Park.  There are a number of other boxes in the Milwaukee area, clues to which can be found at  No extra credit for these, but if you had fun, you might give them a try if you have the time.

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

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