The Math Games–One: Block Towers

We had some time today, so I suggested a little competition: try to build the tallest tower with our wooden blocks. My nine-year-old and I were the only ones to compete, and the nine-year-old got bored pretty quickly and essentially gave up. Below is his tower.

The rules that I laid out are as follows:
1) Build a tower by stacking the wooden blocks as you wish.
2) The tower is measured from base to tip. Your final score is calculated by taking the height of your tower in inches and subtracting an inch for each year of your age.
My son’s tower was 29.5 inches, so his calculated score was 19.5
My tower was 79.25 inches, so my calculated score was *****. Let’s just say that I won by a wide margin.

Of course the crux of designing these towers is managing your block resources. You want the base to be wide and sturdy enough to give good support to the tower, but you don’t want to waste too many blocks on any single layer.

Here are some more shots of my tower:

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