Is it too rainy or hot to go outdoors? Pull out the familiar childhood games of cards, Mousetrap, and Rubik’s Cube. Or learn the mathematics behind game theory in unit 9, “Game Theory,” of Mathematics Illuminated. Why is poker considered an imperfect game? How do different cultures define ‘fair’? How can language use work like a game?
Ever wonder where the concept for the original Mousetrap (published in 1963) game came from? It was inspired by Rube Goldberg (born July 4, 1883) a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author known for his drawings depicting complicated and comical contraptions that perform simple tasks. In workshop 3, “Transfer and Conversion of Energy,” of Science in Focus: Energy, see if you can tell where the energy comes from as you move through different stages of the Cat-Traption, a Rube Goldberg-style machine. Try making your own Cat-Traption at home.
Erno Rubik, born July 13, 1944, is the Hungarian inventor of the Rubik’s Cube. Physics for the 21st Century, unit 9, “Biophysics,” section 5, Free Energy Landscapes, explains hierarchical states using a Rubik’s Cube. In biology, the distance between these states can explain, for example, how far two species are apart on the evolutionary tree.