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Make a cube out of straws and have a go at this practical challenge.


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How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?

World of Tan 16 - Time Flies

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

This activity follows on from World of Tan 15 - Millennia.

Granma T and Mah Ling are sitting together during a lull in the afternoon, when all the big tasks for the day have been done and only a few small jobs still need completing. They are finishing off the day's work and preparing for tomorrow over a warming cup of tea.

Granma T: Doesn't it feel nice to sit down for a few minutes? It's been so busy during the New Year, with all the festivities and the cleaning taking up most of our time.

Mah Ling: This is my favourite time of year - the few days after the Festival of Lanterns when we can start looking forward to the year ahead.

Granma T: More and more often, I find myself looking back instead of forwards. For instance, surely it can't have been a whole year since the last Festival of Lanterns?

Mah Ling: I know, it only feels like yesterday that we were celebrating the start of the Year of the Dragon, and now we're already into the Year of the Snake! When I was little, time seemed to drag...

Granma T: ...But now that we're getting older, it feels like time keeps speeding up. Celebrating the start of a new year serves as a good reminder that time flies.

Mah Ling: That reminds me, there's only a few minutes left to get your letters in the post!

In the meantime, complete the silhouette of the candle.

Extra activities:

  • Try this activity to see if you can estimate how long a minute is. Sit down and ask your friend to carefully time a minute. When you think one minute has passed, stand up. How close were you? 
  • Repeat the experiment. Was your estimate closer to a minute? How can you improve your estimate?

The story continues in World of Tan 17 - Weather.