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Math Fun Day!

  1. Nov 2, 2005 #1

    The seniour mathematics teacher at my school has given me (and a few others) the task of designing a 'Math Fun Day'; an event in which about 200 crazy 12-13 year olds visit our science and mathematics school to participate in mathematical activities/games.

    We're running short on ideas for math activities that are somewhat informative whilst also fun... and so are the teachers obviously - as they gave the task to us.

    Can YOU come up with any ideas? as long as it doesnt involve red cordial and is easy enough for the young minds to understand, we will most probably use it.

    Note: the kids will be in groups - 6 per group.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2005 #2
    How about something along the lines of an old Bagatelle type game?

    It would be easy to make.

    A piece of plywood with small nails hammered partly the way through it.
    A number of small balls
    Numbered slots at the bottom for the ball to drop into.

    You could have theme games like playing 'Pontoon' with the child having to drop the ball into the game and having to add up the numbers the ball drops into. The closest to 21 wins the game???

    You may even have 'special' coloured balls that have 'special powers' such as minusing a number.

    Just an idea :shy:
  4. Nov 2, 2005 #3
  5. Nov 2, 2005 #4
    find a book on recreational math, like coxeter/ball's mathematical recreations & essays. they've got stuff about mazes & that puzzle with the 2 jugs where one jug can hold 5 litres, the other can hold 8 litres but you need to get 4 litres somehow by pouring the liquid from jug to jug. there's a cool general method on how to solve that problem, it's in coxeter's geometry revisited & is probably in the coxeter/ball book also.

    re: origami there's a mathfest thing @ my school where we made the 5 platonic solids out of paper & explained all their properties (the dual concept, etc)
  6. Nov 2, 2005 #5


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    hmmm...I'm 13 and I know that half of my grade is at about a 5th grade math level (The people I know are very stupid) make it easy or so hard that they won't get it :devil:
  7. Nov 2, 2005 #6


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    Is it planned so they only interact with their group, or can you set things up with competitions between groups?

    I'm thinking of something like a game of tag, but you'd need a larger group than 6 to really make it fun. Have the kids wear sheets of paper with numbers or operators on them (turned backward so you can't see them). Whoever is "it" has to tag someone from the opposing team (one team can have operators and one numbers). Whenever someone is tagged "it" they reveal their sign, it gets recorded on a "score board" and they quickly grab a new sign to wear (so they don't memorize who has what on their sign). Some of the signs (equal numbers for each team) will have an equal sign on them. When someone with an equal sign is tagged it, the team that tagged them will have some amount of time (30 seconds?) to do the arithmetic (this could get pretty involved if it takes them a long time to tag someone with an equal sign; you could probably make the game harder or easier to adjust for age level by including more or fewer equal signs interspersed among the numbers and operators and giving them the option to work it out on the board or to have to do it in their heads). If they get it right, they get bonus points, if they get it wrong, the other team can try to answer to steal the points. Then they resume playing.
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