This is tangential to what I’m doing and reaches way back into research rather than game development, but it relates to what I’d love to do so here it is.
This teacher says this: “Every year I get the question in class, ‘When are we gonna have to use this?’ And my answer to that question is, ‘You’re not.’ That’s not the point. By doing math, we are carving neural pathways that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Grappling with problems like this makes us better problem solvers, and by extension, better human beings.”
It is really important to understand why you are learning something, and this simple use of a puzzle means that students have to apply their current knowledge built by textbook exercises to a new area.