Riddle Me This: Logic Workshop
A hen and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half. How many eggs can one hen lay in one day? We encounter problems like this in our real lives all the time, so it was only natural that on February 28th, 2020 the All Girls STEM Society hosted their first Logic Workshop. The Workshop was divided into two groups, based on grade levels. Amanda Tran and Mira Gowda led one workshop for girls in grades 3-5 with thirty-five participants while Emma Hong and Clare Malhotra led another workshop for girls in grades 6-8 with thirty-one participants.
The workshop was Alice-in-Wonderland themed, and participants were split into four teams: Alice, Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit and Mad Hatter. Throughout the workshop, participants competed in these teams to earn points and hopefully, an invitation to the exclusive tea party with the Queen of Hearts. While participants waited for everyone to finish trickling in, they solved two tricky brain teasers that required looking at from a new perspective to solve. After friendly reminders from Emma that participants could always message a volunteer for help and that there was no such thing as a stupid question, the workshop kicked off in earnest.
After a brief introduction to the summation of arithmetic series, or adding up numbers in a pattern like 2 + 6 + 10 … + 42 + 46, participants were split up into breakout rooms by teams and competed to solve five mastermind puzzles. Using a series of clues like shown below, girls tried to find the correct code. Although they struggled with the first few puzzles, by the end, they figured out the tricks and breezed through the last few. Can you solve the puzzle? (scroll down for answer)
Once breakout rooms were recalled, Emma introduced combinatorics or “counting, but complicated.” Once again, girls had the opportunity to volunteer answers to problems on the slideshow and explain their solutions. After that, participants went into breakout rooms to solve combinatorics problems in smaller groups. Teams raced to finish their problems, because they were awarded points for solving the problems and heading back to the main room first.
The final topic covered was logic statements, or how one could work out the truth from a series of statements, some of which were true and some of which were false. Girls headed back into breakout rooms one final time to work through seven challenging logic problems which spanned every topic introduced in the workshop. The final problem? The infamous potions riddle from the first Harry Potter book, the Sorcerer's Stone. Can you solve this riddle? (scroll down for answer)
Answer: from left to right, poison, wine, forwards, poison, poison, wine, backwards
At the end of the workshop, it was revealed that team Alice had won the competition, but that the White Rabbits weren’t far behind in second place. Overall, the kids had a blast which is why one participant noted that the workshop was“super fun and engaging, and EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT.”
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