In this part, we'll continue a mathematics tradition begun by Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276-194 B.C.E.) -- the same person who's known for accurately estimating the diameter of the Earth based on the shadow cast by the Sun's light.
Eratosthenes worked out a method, now called the "Sieve of Eratosthenes," to collect all the prime numbers and allow all composites (multiples of prime numbers) to "drain through." He used a grid that looked like what we now call the 100 board -- the first row is 1-10, the second row 11-20, etc. This grid does locate the prime numbers, but it does not help us understand where to look for them. If you try looking for prime numbers in this grid, you will discover that it's not so easy to locate them in a systematic way:
In the following activity, we will use a different grid to locate the prime numbers. This grid has only six columns, starting with the numbers 2 through 7. As you will see, such positioning of numbers will make the patterns more noticeable and consequently will be more helpful in answering the question of where the prime numbers are located.
Copy the grid above or print a PDF version.