Looking for a really fun STEM challenge that you can do at home? This mystery bag STEM design challenge is a blast!
In this design activity, you will use a bag of mystery materials (an assortment of recyclables and other random items) and then a challenge card stating a building challenge to do with those materials. Then you use those “mystery” materials to complete the challenge.
Step One: Gather Materials
One bag (you can use gift bags, lunch bags, grocery bags, or even large baggies.)
Tape (scotch tape or masking tape)
Various kinds of recyclables (cardboard tubes, cardboard, newspaper, aluminum foil)
A variety of other materials (paper plates, plastic cups, string, yarn, pipe cleaners)
Step Two: Fill Your Bag (Tip: it’s more challenging if a sibling or parent fills your bag)
Place about 8-12 items into the bag. You’ll want to be sure the items are varied. Each bag should contain at least one larger item that can serve as a base for the design, and then an assortment of smaller items.
The Luhn algorithm or Luhn formula, also known as the modulus 10″ or “mod 10” algorithm, was developed in the 1960s as a method of validating identification numbers. Number communication accuracy can be using this formula
Take time to explore:
Read this article about the formula and how it is used in real life to catch errors when shopping online. Research the creator Peter Luhn and make a timeline about his life.
In this video you will learn how to use the Luhn Algorithm. Make the table on paper as you watch.
Math challenge presented by CEMC math POTWC-20-NN-PA-21-P . Print it out, read the page and look at the different strategy that they present to you. Try to figure out the last challenge. Answer key for challenge. You can use this to check you work.
Engineers Week (EWeek) is THIS WEEK and you can celebrate with MATHCOUNTS by solving their 5 Problems of the Day (linked below). BONUS: Just for participating, you’ll have an opportunity to earn some prizes!
Each day you’ll have an opportunity to solve our Problem of the Day and enter a prize drawing! You can submit your answers anytime during EWeek (Feb 21-27), so don’t panic if you get started late! Each Problem of the Day has multiple parts, and each correct answer you get will be a ticket in that day’s prize drawing.
Everyone who participates will be entered in a prize drawing! Submit answers to at least one Problem of the Day and you’ll be entered to win, even if you don’t get correct answers.
Each individual prize drawing winner will get a $10 Amazon gift card and each group drawing winner will receive a $50 gift card to the MATHCOUNTS store!
Pictured above is one of my favorite poets – Amanda Gorman. In the picture, she is reading a poem at the inauguration of President Joe Biden! And, she is just 22 years old!!
Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer! She has written for the New York Times and has three books forthcoming with Penguin Random House.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began writing at only a few years of age. Now her words have won her invitations to the Obama White House and to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and others.
In 2017, Amanda Gorman was appointed the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate by Urban Word – a program that supports Youth Poets Laureate in more than 60 cities, regions and states nationally. She is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and is the youngest. board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States.
Click on the link below to watch Amanda Gorman read her poem “Talking Gets Us There”.
February is Black History Month. I can think of almost no one more heroic in Black history than Harriet Tubman. The more you discover about Tubman, the more you realize she had to be a superhero to pull off exploits it would be an understatement to say were daring.
This tiny woman who could neither read nor write now has not one, but two national parks dedicated to her story, plus the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center on the eastern shore of Maryland, where she was born Araminta Ross – Minty for short – around 1822.
Her parents were enslaved on different plantations, hours apart. She and her mother were owned by Edward Brodess, who made $60 a year renting her out, starting when she was six.
In 1849, she escaped from a place called Poplar Neck, in Caroline County, Maryland, when word reached her that she was going to be sold South.
Look at a map, and imagine Harriet, in her 20s, running away, alone, on foot. She managed, with the help of the Underground Railroad, to make it a hundred miles to the Pennsylvania border, and freedom.
But then Tubman went back – 13 times over 10 years – leading more than 70 people to freedom.
Click on the link below to watch this TEDED on the life of Harriet Tubman.
Step 1: What is a Tweet? Read the definition below and look at the examples.
What is a Tweet? A tweet is a status update on a social media platform called Twitter that is broadcast to other users. Limited to 140 characters or less, tweets can express how users are feeling, what they’re doing, and anything in between.
Step 2: Look over the Tweet options below and choose one to complete.
Option 1: Character Tweet
What would a character from a favorite book “tweet” at the end of a chapter or section. Write it as though you are that character using Twitter.
Character Tweet Example:
Character Tweet Template:
Option 2: Chapter/Section Tweet:
Think of a chapter of a book or section of a movie and summarize what happened twitter style.
Option 3: Book Review Tweet
Book Review Tweet Examples:
Option 4: Historical Figure Tweet
Choose a person from a historical event. What would this historical figure “tweet” after this event? Write it as though you are that person using Twitter.
Historical Figure Template:
Step 3: Use the contact form below and type your Tweet in the Message section. Hit Submit
How can you solve this problem without drawing a picture on paper?
Use one of the resources below to solve the problem.
Use this interactive tool to construct triangular numbers until you can see the pattern to answer the counter question from above.
ADVANCED: This is a teaching page that REALLY gets into the math behind these types of problems. Use the formula and see if you can get the right answer.
Check out this triangular number chart. Click on getting started. When you have a solution and a written statement about what you did to solve the problem, check the “solution” button to check your work.
Connection: Research the original Light Brite, a 1960s toy. Come up with some unique idea on how teachers can use these toys to teach math, science, and art.