# Pico Fermi Bagels

This is a super fun game for a wide variety of ages. I found it in a great book called Family Math and I’ve played it with young elementary school students, middle school students, families, classes, small groups – you name it! I’ve been playing this game for probably twenty years and it’s really always fun, once you get the hang of it.

All you need to play is a piece of paper and something to write with.

The object of the game is to guess a 4 (or 3) digit number correctly.

The “leader” of the game will write down the secret number on a piece of paper. Don’t let anyone see!

Now it’s time for everyone else to guess. You can play with just one other person, with a small group or with a whole class.

As each person guesses, write down the guess. Then the leader will give response clues. The clues go like this:

“Pico” means a digit is correct but it’s in the wrong place value or location.

“Fermi” means a digit is correct AND it’s in the correct place value or location.

“Bagels” means nothing is correct.

(On a side note, you may be wondering about the catchy title. Where did those words come from?! I’m not 100 percent sure but here’s my best guess: “pico” means “a little” so when you get a pico in the game, it means you’re a little bit right; “Fermi” is the name of a famous Italian mathematician so when you get a Fermi in the game, you’re thinking like a mathematician and getting very close; “bagels”, well, think about it. What does a bagel look like? A zero! So, when you get a bagels in the game, it means you got zero correct.)

Keep going until you guess the actual number! When we play the winner gets to lead the next round.