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### Course: 6th grade > Unit 11

Lesson 5: Mean and median challenge problems# Missing value given the mean

When babysitting, you forget one child's age from your records. But, you remember the mean age of the six children is four. Using this mean, you can find the missing age. The total of all ages equals the mean times the number of children. So, you solve for the missing age and find it's three.

## Want to join the conversation?

- what can i do to remember what mode means(54 votes)
**Mo**de =**Mo**st occurring number.

Me**a**n =**A**verage**M**ed**i**an =**Mi**ddle(72 votes)

- Is there a simpler way to figure out this question?(28 votes)
- Think the mean as the zero point,then the data would be transform to [+1,-2,<unknown>-4,-2,+0,+4], when you sum them up excluding <unknown>, it results +1,it means you have to fill a number -1 to balance the data,or you can say <unk>-4=-1,where <unk> is equal to 3(21 votes)

- When asked to stop and think about the missing number, my first thought was to multiply the mean by the number of kids/data points - 4 x 6 giving me 24. Then I subtracted all the known ages... 24-8-4-2-2-5 giving me 3 (the same answer).

This seemed easier than the method in the video, but would this method always work for me?(16 votes)- Yes, it will work, because it is basically the exact same thing that Sal did in the video. The only difference is that Sal added the known ages together before subtracting them from the total.

24 − 8 − 4 − 2 − 2 − 5 = 24 − (8 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 5)(8 votes)

- And is there a simpler way to do this

thx and I would really appreciate it(15 votes) - I don't know if this is 100% correct, but this is what I did to simplify what he said and get the answer.

My first step was to add everything together to get 21+?.

Since there are six numbers, and the mean is 4, I did 6*4 to get 24.

Last but not least, I did 24-21 to get the missing number.

This method certainly worked for this problem, but I'm not 100% sure if it works for all problems like this? Hopefully someone can clear this up for me. Thanks for reading and (hopefully) answering this question.(11 votes)- Yes, it comes from the formula. We add (5+2+2+8+4+x)/6 = 4, so you could multiply both sides by 6 to get 21+x=24. If you changed the number and the mean, you would still multiply these two together and then subtract what you know.(9 votes)

- i paused the video and solved it and got 3 but when u explain it i got so confused and forgot how to do the math. explain it properly(8 votes)
- He solved it algebraically, which is a very solid way of answering this type of problem. However if you haven't started learning algebra then it might be very confusing. If you haven't started algebra than think of it as a scale. We know we have 6 values with a mean of 4. So we get 24 on one side. On the other we add all values up 8 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 2 = 21. Then we just subtract 21 from 24 to find the missing number, so 24 - 21 = 3.(10 votes)

- 22 divided by 6 is 3.something, correct?(8 votes)
- Yes 3.6 repeating or 3 and 1/3(4 votes)

- What does Sal mean when he cancels out the 6?(5 votes)
- All that really means is that 6/6 =1, and anything multiplied by 1 is itself.(10 votes)

- Quick re-cap(tell me if I am wrong)

Mean: Add all the digits(in the right place value) and divide it by how many numbers there are.

Median: The middle amount/ the average.

Mode: Most common number..(5 votes)- Yes, you got it right (don't forget to order the numbers from least to greatest first for the median).(3 votes)

- How are ways for us to remember what does mode mean?(2 votes)

## Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Let's say you're
in the babysitting business and you like to keep a log
of whom you are babysitting. So in the last month
you babysat six children and you wrote the ages of
all six children in your log. But then when you go back
to your log you notice that some blue ink spilled
over one of the ages and you forgot how old that child is. And at first you're really worried, your whole system of
keeping records seems to... you know, you've lost information. But then you remember that every time you wrote down a new age that month, you recalculated the mean. And so you have the
mean here of being four, the mean age is four for the six children. So given that, given
that you know the mean, and that you know five
out of six of the ages, can you figure out what the sixth age is? And I encourage you to pause the video and try to figure it out on your own. So assuming you've had a shot at it. So let's just call this missing age, let's call that question mark. So let's just think about
how do we calculate, how would we calculate a mean if we knew what question mark is? Well, we would take the total. We would take the total of ages, of ages, we would then divide that by the number of children. We then divide that by the number of ages that we had, and then that would be equal to, that would be equal to the mean. Or another way to think about it, if you multiply both sides
times the number of ages, the number of ages on that side and the number of ages on that side, then this is gonna cancel with that, and we're gonna be left with the total The total is going to be equal to, is going to be equal to the mean times the number of ages. Mean times, and I'll just
write times the number, times number of data points, or number of ages. So maybe we can use this information, 'cause we're just going to have this missing question mark here and we know the mean and we
know the number of ages. So we just have to solve
for the question mark. So let's do that. So let's go back to the beginning here, just so this makes
sense with some numbers. The total of ages, that's going to be five plus two plus question mark, plus question mark, plus two, this two, plus two plus four plus eight. We're gonna divide by the number of ages. We're gonna divide it
by the number of ages. Well we have six ages here. One, two, three, four, five, six. Six ages. And that's going to be equal to the mean. This is going to be equal to the mean. The mean here is four. So let's see, and this is just
how you calculate the mean. So let's see if we can simplify this. So five plus two is seven. Let me do this, that's the wrong color. Five plus two, five plus two is seven. Two plus four is six plus eight is 14. 14. And then seven plus 14 is 21. So we're left with 21 plus question mark over six is equal to four. Now we can do what we did
when we just wrote it all out. We can multiply both sides
times the number of ages, the number of data points we have. So we can multiply both sides times six. We can multiply both sides, both sides times six. So six on that side, six on this side. Six in the numerator, six in
the denominator, those cancel. So all we're left is, on the left-hand side we're
left with 21 plus question mark. Alright. All of these other green numbers, those just simplified, five plus two plus two
plus four plus eight is 21 and we still have the question mark. So we get 21 plus question mark, I want to do that green color, 21 plus this question mark, the thing that we're trying to solve for. The missing number is
going to be equal to, is going to be equal to four times six. Well what's four times six? That's 24. And so what's the question mark? 21 plus what is equal to 24? And we could, of course, you might just say, well
it's gonna be three. Or, if you want to, you could say well, question mark is going to be, question mark is going to be equal to, is going to be equal to 24 minus 21. Which is, of course, three. Which of course, so let
me just write this down, so the question mark is equal to three. So the missing age, you
were able to figure it out based on the information you had, because you had the mean, you were able to figure out
that behind this blotch, that behind this blotch you had a three. It's exciting.