My younger son is fascinated by dice. He’s always inventing little dice games and really loved our project about non-transitive dice:

Non-Transitive Grime Dice

Today was sort of a dream come true for him as we got the final batch of supplies delivered for his school’s Family Math night. He had questions about some of the contents 🙂

A different box had something much more interesting – a giant bag of dice!

I asked him what he wanted to do with the dice and the first thing he wanted to do was roll all of the dice and see if we got all 6’s.

Turns out that we didn’t 😦

However, there were some other questions – how likely was it that we would have gotten all 6’s? It was lucky that we’d recently talked about the probability of various Powerball outcomes:

Never Tell me the odds – talking math and Powerball

He remembered a little bit about calculating probabilities like this and told me that the chance of getting all 6’s was (1/6) to the power of however many dice we had.

Next I asked him how many 6’s he expected we’d get. That led to arranging the ~350 dice into 6 groups. We had to leave for an activity he has on Monday nights, but I’d really like to ask him why he thinks the groups aren’t all the same size. Maybe that’ll be tomorrow morning’s project.

I’m not actually using these dice for any of the project I’ll be doing, but I’m very impressed with the ideas and projects that people have done in prior years. There’s probably 3 months worth of really great projects in these boxes – the people running the event in the past have really put a lot of thought into the projects that they’ve chosen to share with the kids.

[update from the next morning – here’s his description of what he was doing and what he was thinking about]


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