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stick puzzle laying on top of a wood table

Stick Puzzlers

Becky Wright

Becky Wright

About the Author

Becky is an educator and the Lead Digital Skills teacher at the Lindsay Pinnguaq Makerspace. She is passionate about developing an intrinsic motivation for learning within every student she meets. Becky graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with a Major in Human Development and Special Education, and a Masters of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to beginning her role as an educator for Pinnguaq, she taught grades sixth through eighth in a Montessori school structure. She also spent five years teaching a range of grades from preschool to eighth grade in Bangkok.

Computational Thinking, Game Design
Maker Activity

Introduction

These cards provide learners with logic and math visual problems that are fun and engaging. Using sticks, learners will have the opportunity to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills to solve the visual brain teasers. These challenges require you to think outside the box and they are difficult to solve, but have a seemingly simple solution once resolved. Cards can be downloaded and printed for learners to use independently.

Cards


Move a stick from the group of sticks that make up 2 and make a plus sign with the middle stick in the group of sticks that make three. You then turn the equations from 1+2+3=4 into 1+1+1+1=4 by only moving 1 stick.

Pick up the three sticks that make the triangle and hold them close to your face. Look through the triangle at the square. You’ve now moved three sticks to place the square inside the triangle!

Move one stick from each group of three at each corner of the top and bottom rows into the group of three in the middle of the top and bottom row. Now your top and bottom rows will add up to nine, but the left and right columns will only add up to seven. 

Now it’s time to add in your four sticks. Add two sticks to each of the middle groups of three in the left and right columns. 

Now that you’ve added four more sticks,  each column and row have three groups that equal a sum of 9 sticks.

  1. To make your first X, start with the fifth stick from the left and pass it over the two sticks on its left. Cross on the third stick.

  1. Now to make the second X, take the fourth stick in from the right and pass it over the two sticks to its right. Cross with the third stick.

  1. To make your third X, take the stick to the very right of the first cross (on the left) and pass it over the two sticks to the right. Cross on the third stick.

  1. Now it’s time to make the fourth X! Take the very first stick on the far left and pass it over the two sticks in the cross to the right. Cross with the third stick.

  1. Finally, take the free stick on the very right and pass it over the two sticks that make up the X to the left. Cross on the third stick to make your last X.

Congratulations! You’ve now combined the 10 sticks into 5 letter Xs!


We want to see the awesome things you’re creating! Take a photo or video and share your work with us by emailing media@pinnguaq.com or tagging @pinnguaq on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #LearnWithPinnguaq!


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