STEM Play Packs – Dice

Knockout

Aim: Be the player with the highest score at the end of 10 rounds.

Supplies: 2 dice; pencil and paper; 2 or more players.

How to play:

  • Each player picks a number (6, 7, 8 or 9) to be their "knock out" number. More than one player can choose the same number.
  • Each person takes a turn rolling both dice once each turn. Add the numbers together from both dice to get your total. If the total is your "knock out" number, your turn is over, you score 0, and your total score is "knocked out" or cancelled and you start over on the next turn. If it is a different number, you get the total as your score.
  • Pass the dice to the person on your left so they can roll for their turn.
  • Play 10 rounds (a round is each person taking one turn). The person with the highest score at the end is the winner.
  • Try playing, again, on a different surface, either rougher or smoother.

 

Questions to Ask

    • How many combinations of numbers add up to 6, 7, 8, 9?
    • How does your choice of knock out number affect your chances of getting "knocked out?"
    • What is the effect if you roll hard or softly?
    • How does the surface you are playing on affect the way the dice roll?
    • How does the game change if everyone has the same knockout number?

 

Where is the STEM?

    • Science: Friction can affect the roll of dice.
    • Technology: Pencils are tools to record data.
    • Engineering: Choose a surface that will have more or fewer bounces.
    • Math: Practice numbers, adding, and experiment with probability.

 

What is the Science?

Did you notice that rolling two dice more often totals 7? There are 36 possible combinations of dice throws with sums from 1+1=2 to 6+6=12. There are more ways to throw a 7 than any other number. Scientists have used high speed movies of rolling dice to test if a throw is always random. They learned that the number on top when you throw is more likely to end on top when the die stops. They also found that a surface with lots of friction (a rougher surface) makes the die bounce more, making the results harder to predict. With low friction, smooth or soft surfaces, the die bounces less often.

 

Mountain

Aim: Roll dice and move along the number path to be the first to climb up and down the mountain to win. 

 

Supplies: 2 dice; pencil and paper; partner or timer

 

How to play: 

  1. On the piece of paper draw a mountain 
  2. Write a series of numbers (1-6) that lead up one side of the mountain and then down the other side. 
  3. In order to climb the mountain, you must roll one dice to get each of the numbers shown on the mountain. So if the first number is a 1, then you have to roll a 1 before the climb can start. You need to roll each number in order. Therefore, you cannot skip the first number and jump further up the mountain to the number you rolled.
  4. Each player takes a turn rolling the die and moving if the number on the dice matches the next number on the mountain. If the number does not match, the next person takes their turn.
  5. The winner is the first person that is able to climb up and down the mountain.
  6. If you do not have a partner to play with, start the timer when you begin to play and see how long it takes you to go up and down the mountain. Or keep track of the number of throws it takes to finish the game (put a hash mark on paper for each throw). Repeat.
  7. Draw a new mountain, use two dice and label the mountain with numbers from 2-12. Add the numbers on both dice together to see what number you throw for each tur
  8. .

 

Questions to Ask

    • How does changing the order of the numbers change how long it takes to play the game?
    • How does using two dice to play change the length of the game?
    • How does the game change if you make the mountain bigger and repeat numbers?

Where is the STEM?

    • Science: The way you hold the dice may affect the number you roll.
    • Technology: Pencil and paper are tools to help us play games.
    • Engineering: Experiment with the order of numbers.
    • Math: Number recognition and adding the dice together are math processes.

What is the Science?

Playing these games are a fun way to reinforce the math component of STEM. Playing games also improves social skills. They will learn patience while taking turns, and good sportsmanship. Scientists need patience to do their experiments and be able to get along with others.

https://www.insidescience.org/news/dice-rolls-are-not-completely-random

Other Resources:

Try using addition and subtraction to play a version called Over the Hill.

 

Roll to Write

Aim: Roll the dice and create a story.

Supplies: 1 Die; pencil and paper; one partner or more; a recording device (smartphone, camera, or audio recorder).

How to play:

 

  1. Roll the die to determine the setting.
  2. Roll the die to determine the character.
  3. Roll the die to determine the plot.
  4. Using the random selections from 1, 2, and 3 above to start your story. Write your story down on paper or tell it to someone else. Be sure to fill in the details.
  5. Draw a picture of your story as another method of communicating with your audience.
  6. Record your story with video or as an audio recording to share with others or to listen to yourself so you can find ways to make it more clear to the listener.

Questions to Ask

    • How does rolling dice make this activity more fun?
    •  How does having these random selections help with your creativity?
    • What would you put, if you designed your own chart?
    • How could a chart, diagram or table help to tell your story?

Where is the STEM?

    • Science: Clear communication of ideas and information is a major component of science.
    • Technology: Recording, with video or audio, is one way to share your communication.
    • Engineering: Communication of ideas is critical to solving the problem.
    • Math: Practice numbers, and adding. 

What is the Science?

The eighth science practice includes communicating information or design ideas and/or solutions with others in oral and/or written forms using models, drawings, writing, or numbers that provide detail about scientific ideas, practices, and/or design ideas. A project like this one will give practice in explaining your ideas clearly.

Science cannot advance if scientists are unable to communicate their findings clearly and persuasively or to learn about the findings of others. A major practice of science is thus the communication of ideas and the results of inquiry—orally, in writing, with the use of tables, diagrams, graphs, and equations, and by engaging in extended discussions with scientific peers. Science requires the ability to derive meaning from scientific texts (such as papers, the Internet, symposia, and lectures), to evaluate the scientific validity of the information thus acquired, and to integrate that information.

Engineers cannot produce new or improved technologies if the advantages of their designs are not communicated clearly and persuasively. Engineers need to be able to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with the use of tables, graphs, drawings, or models and by engaging in extended discussions with peers. Moreover, as with scientists, they need to be able to derive meaning from colleagues’ texts, evaluate the information, and apply it usefully. In engineering and science alike, new technologies are now routinely available that extend the possibilities for collaboration and communication.

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