Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 5, Day 1) – Secrets of the Moli Stone
Today we set off on our journey to solve the mystery of the Moli Stone! Students came eager to find out what the Moli Stone was, and today we got to make some initial observation and predictions about what the markings on the Moli Stone might be. We also thought about what good questions might be to ask in order to guide our investigation over the course of the week. Some observations and predictions that we have right now include: “some of the markings look like addition and subtraction signs;” “many of the markings repeat themselves;” and “maybe the markings are telling us the amounts of the pictures they are associated with.” We were all wondering where the Moli Stone came from. Some guesses about the stone’s origins include China, Japan, and Egypt.
We also discussed why a team of archeologist might ask for a mathematician’s help. While students quickly exclaimed that mathematicians are probably “smarter,” we tried to think about what skills a mathematician has that might be different from an archeologist. We agreed that mathematicians probably know more about mathematical concepts, and that most likely ancient civilizations also had some forms of mathematics. Over the next few days we will be exploring different number systems to help us gain skills, ask new questions, and develop new observations about the Moli Stone, so that by the end of the week, its’ secret can be solved. Our first investigation was with our own number system. We related base 10 concepts to different combinations of dimes and pennies. Before moving on to our next investigation tomorrow, we’ll work together to think about if there is a general rule for how many combinations of dimes and pennies exist for any amount of money, and what this how to do with the way our own number system works.