Challenge students to place the fewest number of ice cream vans on a map of a town while maximizing ice cream availability to introduce the brute-force method in an accessible way.

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  • Using the map provided in the CS Unplugged Activity, have students place the ice cream vans such that anyone needs to walk at most one block further than the end of their street to reach a van.
  • The intuitive brute-force approach to this problem involves trying each configuration until one works.
    • There is a common misconception that computers are fast enough to use this approach, but this activity helps show students that this is almost never true.