Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Private Universe Project in Mathematics

 

Web Activities

The Towers Problem

The students in the Rutgers study repeatedly encountered the so-called Tower Problem, one variant of which is presented as a challenge in the homework for Workshop 1:

"You have two colors of Unifix® Cubes available with which to build towers. Your homework task is to make as many different looking towers as is possible, each exactly four cubes high. A tower always points up, with the little knob on top. Find a way to convince yourself and others that you have found all possible towers four cubes high and that you have no duplicates."

You can work on this problem using Unifix® Cubes, the paper cut-out cubes provided in the support materials, or here online. There are 2 ways to access this software:

  • Shockwave Site — Participate directly on the Internet, using any computer.

    In order for the activity to work properly, the free Shockwave Plug-In must be installed in your browser before you enter the Shockwave page.

  • Download Stand-Alone Program — Participate offline, using a Macintosh computer.

    Use this link to download the Blocks program as a stand-alone application for Macintosh (1.6 MB). This option does not require any additional plug-ins for your browser, and the program can be used offline.

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