CEMC Banner

Problem of the Week
Problem B
Not a TetrisTM Game

On June 6, 2024, the puzzle game TetrisTM will be 40 years old! The game of TetrisTM uses pieces called “tetrominoes”, which are shapes composed of four identical squares, like the ones given at the bottom of this page. This problem is inspired by TetrisTM.

In this problem, tetromino pieces are to be placed in a grid according to the following rules:

  1. Pieces may be rotated or reflected (flipped over).

  2. Pieces may not overlap each other and each square in a piece must be placed directly on top of a square in the grid.

  3. Only the given pieces may be used, but you do not need to use all of them.

The goal is to cover as many squares in the grid as possible with the pieces. Is it possible to cover all the squares in the given grid? Explain why or why not.

When answering this question, you may find it helpful to cut out the given tetrominoes and place them on the grid.

Not printing this page? You can use our interactive worksheet.

A grid of identical squares arranged into ten rows and seven
columns.A description of the tetromino pieces follows.

Theme: Geometry & Measurement