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Sumerian numbers Activity

by David, 14 July 2017 | 9 comments

a section of an ancient clay tablet.

More than 5000 years ago, ancient Sumerians invented a way to write numbers. Their form of writing predates the pyramids, and even the invention of paper! In this activity, you’ll have a chance to try out this counting system.

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Thirteen cent coins Activity

by David, 2 May 2017 | 0 comments

small circles of paper with the numbers 1, 2, 5, 13, 29 and 64 written on them.

You’re probably familiar with 20 cent and 50 cent coins. But different countries have different values for their coins. So what’s the best way to number coins? You will need Australian silver coins: 5 x 50 cents 5 x 20 cents 5 x 10 cents 5 x 5 cents Pen and paper Scissors Stopwatch Setting…

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Scientific notation sprinkles Activity

by David, 7 April 2017 | 0 comments

In everyday life, most numbers we use are less than 1000. Sometimes scientists need to use MUCH larger numbers. Here’s an insight into how they do it. You will need Jar of hundreds and thousands sprinkles Measuring spoons and cup Pen Sticky notes What to do

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Maya numbers Activity

by David, 7 March 2017 | 0 comments

The numbers that we use are not the only way to write numbers. You might know how to count with tally marks, or read Roman numerals. But there are plenty of other ways to write numbers. This one comes from the Maya people. You will need Pen and paper

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Pyramid solitaire Activity

by David, 16 January 2017 | 0 comments

Many people know how to play solitaire or patience . But there are actually lots of different one-player card games. This version of patience has a bit of addition, and also some tricky strategic thinking. You will need Deck of cards

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Counting by division Activity

by David, 5 December 2016 | 0 comments

Let’s look at a few interesting patterns you can get by dividing. Some of these patterns need a lot of digits, so get the best calculator you can find. If you have a computer with the internet handy, there are some good online calculators to use, such as wolframalpha.com. Some mathematicians might prefer to use…

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Count to a million Activity

by David, 16 September 2016 | 1 comments

Someone thinking, with a thought bubble counting up from 1.

How long would it take to count to one million? Well you could just start a stopwatch and get to counting, but here’s how to work out if you’ll be done by dinner time. You will need Pen Paper Stopwatch First estimate Start by warming up your voice. Sing a few scales and practice your…

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Coins around the equator Activity

by David, 11 April 2016 | 0 comments

How much money would it take to put a line of coins around the equator? With a bit of research and a bit of maths, you’ll soon know the answer! You will need Silver coins Jar Cardboard Fine marker Paper Masking tape Scissors Tape measure Collecting coins First, collect some silver coins to measure. If…

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Lemonade stand Activity

by David, 20 January 2016 | 2 comments

Note: Laws about selling food and drink vary from place to place. Get an adult to contact the local council and check where and how you are allowed to run a lemonade stand before you do this activity. This activity may not be permitted in your region. If not, you could try doing this with…

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Make a piece of shortbread Activity

by David, 13 January 2016 | 0 comments

Safety: This activity involves an oven and electric beaters. Younger mathematicians should ask an adult for help. You will need 15 g butter, softened 10 mL caster sugar 0.3 mL vanilla extract 31 mL plain flour 8 mL rice flour Extra butter to grease the baking tray Extra flour for kneading

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