Prime Time

(Based on Rivest, Shamir, Adleman, 1977)

Prime Time is one of the must-play games in your classroom whenever you start tackling prime and composite numbers. References to the $1,000,000 prize are a long way away, but I hope one day to be able to tell you all that it is true. The game is based on the famous RSA cryptosystem of Rivest, Shamir, Adleman, 1977.

Attached is a pdf game-sheet for your students.

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.


Standards for Mathematical Practice

MathPickle puzzle and game designs engage a wide spectrum of student abilities while targeting the following Standards for Mathematical Practice:

MP1 Toughen up!

This is problem solving where our students develop grit and resiliency in the face of nasty, thorny problems. It is the most sought after skill for our students.

MP3 Work together!

This is collaborative problem solving in which students discuss their strategies to solve a problem and identify missteps in a failed solution. MathPickle recommends pairing up students for all its puzzles.

MP6 Be precise!

This is where our students learn to communicate using precise terminology. MathPickle encourages students not only to use the precise terms of others, but to invent and rigorously define their own terms.

MP7 Be observant!

One of the things that the human brain does very well is identify pattern. We sometimes do this too well and identify patterns that don't really exist.


Please use MathPickle in your classrooms. If you have improvements to make, please contact us. We'll give you credit 😉

Gordon Hamilton

(MMath, PhD)


Lora Saarnio