Here is the AMAZING thing … according to designer Tom Wujec, who gives the TED lecture (below), the most successful tower builders are not business school graduates or CEOs, but kindergarten students. The stats are in the video. So here is the challenge. Can you build a structure higher than the towers built by kindergarten kids?

Towers built by Kindergarten Kids AVERAGE HEIGHT = 71 CM or 28 INCH

HIGHEST TOWER from 70 challenges = 99 CM or 39 INCH

The Tom Wujec TED talk is aimed at business ‘team building’. Nevertheless, it is an interesting challenge and fun too.

TAKE 2:

In fact, the Marshmallow Tower has been around for a very long time. This challenge for middle school kids involves as many marshmallows and sticks of spaghetti needed to build the biggest tower. This is also a great end of year/semester/week challenge.

Mathspig posted this picture of an awesome marshmallow tower here.

When Marge is accused of stealing from Apu’s Quickie Mart his memory is tested. He says his memory is very good. He can recite pi to 40,000 places!!! Also on Numberphile: A Mile of Pi.

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2. The Late Show with David Letterman

Maths savant Daniel Tammet explains that he can recite Pi to 22,000 places. But wait until you hear how long it takes. Amaaaazing!!!!!

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3. Star Trek

Spock sorts out a computer with the command to calculate Pi. Cool!!!!

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4. Mathletics

Look for the second maths blooper in this clip. The folks at Mathletics get Pi wrong!!!!! Great spotting Mathologer.

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5. MTV Kate Bush

Some may prefer to listen to Apu reciting Pi to 40,000 decimal places. Nevertheless, here is Kate Bush singing about Pi.

Cars (and trucks) have been used as weapons by drivers purposefully driving into crowds including:

2014: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

2014 : Jerusalem, Israel.

2016: Nice, France

2016: Berlin, Germany

2017: Jerusalem, Israel

2017: Melbourne, Australia.

What does the maths tell us?

Melbourne is Mathspig’s home town. The car attack killed, tragically, 6 people and injured many more. The question many seem to ask is:

Why can’t people get out of the way?

Look at the video below of the Melbourne car. It doesn’t appear to be going that fast. But the maths tells a different story. You need quite a distance between you and a car travelling at approx 60 kph to have enough time to run clear. (See calculations below)

How fast do you react?

We will set your reaction time at 0.4 sec. This allows time for you to react and turn. If you want to test your reaction time go here. But remember you have to turn as well.

How fast would you run?

According to the Telegraph, UK, the average human can run at 15.9 mph (25.6 kph) and the National Council of Strength and Fitness 15 mph (24.1kph), which Mathspig has rounded off to 25 kph.

How do you escape a car travelling at 60 kph towards you when you are less than 9 m away?

Jump upwards!

You might reduce the impact and even go over the roof.

Cars (and trucks) have been used as weapons by drivers purposefully driving into crowds including:

2014: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

2014 : Jerusalem, Israel.

2016: Nice, France

2016: Berlin, Germany

2017: Jerusalem, Israel

2017: Melbourne, Australia.

What does the math tell us?

Melbourne is Mathspig’s home town. The car attack killed, tragically, 6 people and injured many more. The question many seem to ask is:

Why can’t people get out of the way?

Look at the video below of the Melbourne car. It doesn’t appear to be going that fast. But the math tells a different story. You need quite a distance between you and a car travelling at approx 35 mph to have enough time to run clear. (See calculations below)

How fast do you react?

We will set your reaction time at 0.4 sec. This allows time for you to react and turn. If you want to test your reaction time go here. But remember you have to turn as well.

I started my maths workshop in Hamburg by stirring up some friendly rivalry. And what better way to do this than by using statistics.

Which is the biggest country?

Australia is 21.5 times the area of Germany. So I counted off 22 workshop participants and pointed to one saying ‘Your’re Germany! Ha!’ Here’s another way to compare areas:

Which country has the largest population?

Germany has 3.5 times the population of Australia.

But the really interesting questions are:

Who drinks more beer?

Who eats more meat?

Here are the answers to these and other interesting questions from the introduction to my workshop with apologies to Brisbane and Perth:

Here are some amazing ways to make middle school maths AMAZING: