Turing Tumble Community

Project Suggestion

We are planning on implementing a Year 7 STEM unit using Turing Tumbles (approximately 6 weeks). We would like to culminate the unit with a project/challenge that would be suitable for 12 – 13 year old boys once their skillset has been developed.

I see the Educator Guide has puzzles and solutions 1-30 and the Puzzle Book has puzzles and solutions 1 – 60. Would you recommend us preparing the students by taking them through the earlier challenges then having their project as one (or more) of the complex challenges? Is there anything else you could suggest as a culminating (approx. 2 week) assignment challenge?

Yes it is for a boys a school.

I’ve had the fun of working with kids a little younger over the period of a semester in a once-per-week after-school program. Based partly on this experience, I think it might make sense to let the kids choose between several options, as you’ll have some kids who are quite comfortable with TT by that time, and who will want to strike out on their own, and you’ll have some kids who are perhaps struggling somewhat, and who may benefit from the structure and comfort provided by guided exercises in the puzzle book.

Beyond the puzzle book, I’ve enjoyed TT in a couple of ways, both facilitated by this community: (1) thinking up new puzzles, and (2) solving new puzzles (some of my own, some of others).
I think there is a lot of fun and benefit to be had in both of these activities - so would want kids to enjoy them…

So, perhaps you can allow kids to choose one of the following paths:

  • continue going in the book to see how far they can make it (and allow them to skip ahead if they so choose), or
  • solve one or more new puzzles that you pose, or
  • propose their own puzzle or challenge, and then solve it… repeating as time allows. They can share their proposed challenges and others can try them as well.

You might want to advise kids who propose new puzzles as to whether it might be too difficult, or impossible given the space constraints, or whether it might be about the right level (to the extent that you can figure this out yourself…they may well ask about doing something that gets you thinking for a long time!)

On the other hand, you might let them think about this on their own, and if they don’t make progress, encourage them to modify the problem to make it easier, solve a special case, etc. In other words, advise them on how to do research.

Good luck! Be sure to report back with how things went, and any lessons learned for the rest of us who do outreach activities.

Apologies for the delayed reply and thanks for this advice. As a first timer, it might be best if we stick to the challenges. I will let you know how I go!

No worries about delayed response… This bboard often moves in slow motion :).

I can’t help but offer this suggestion just in case you wanted a project that is a little open ended, but is close to those in the book. The"how high can you count" challenge: Release as many balls as possible, and then halt. (The halting is required!). If they have already made counters, they will try to squeeze a large counter on the board. That alone is interesting. Some might just experiment with a large random complicated layout. You could suggest using two counters. You could keep track of the class high score (only if you wanted to encourage a bit of competition… Not clear this is desirable)

Thanks Lenny. I like this idea as a low floor, high ceiling task. I was also hoping to add a real world context/scenario to the final task to (hopefully) create some authentic meaning for the students. For example, I read about a traffic light challenge on the discussion board.

Any suggestions on a real world context for the aforementioned challenges? Thanks in advance. I know I’m putting you on the spot here :blush: