Fermi problems as a hub for task design in mathematics and stem education

Jonas Bergman Ärlebäck, Lluís Albarracín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we draw on recent research on so-called Fermi problems and situate the fundamental principles underlying this type of tasks and their use from a task design perspective. We use the models and modelling perspective on teaching and learning to elaborate on aspects related to the design of single-use, as well as sequences of, Fermi problems. In addition, we discuss a framework (called the Fermi problem activity template [FPAT] framework) for supporting the design and use of Fermi problems to facilitate students' learning within particular mathematics content areas and/or aimed at particular concepts or higher-order thinking skills. We also illustrate how the FPAT framework can be used to (i) facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations with other subjects such as the social sciences, but in particular with the other STEM subjects; and (ii) support teachers in adapting and implementing Fermi problems in their classrooms.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberhrad002
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching Mathematics and its Applications
Issue number1
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


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