George Washington Carver


Born

January 1864

Died

January 5th, 1943

Best known for

His crop research and many “peanut discoveries”

 

Watch this video about George Washington Carver

The greatest challenge Carver faced was…

Racial Segregation. Carver was often ignored, rejected, and ridiculed just because of his skin color.

He overcame that challenge by…

Not being discouraged. Carver kept searching until he found universities and peers that would appreciate his talent, regardless of his race.

Our favorite quotes by George Washington Carver

“One reason I never patent my products is that if I did it would take so much time, I would get nothing else done. But mainly I don’t want my discoveries to benefit specific favored persons.”
“Lose, if need be, without squealing. Win without bragging. Be too brave to lie. Be too generous to cheat. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.”

George Washington Carver’s 3 greatest achievements:

  1. He developed the method of crop rotation, a practice that is now used world wide!
  2. His work with peanuts and sweet potatoes shaped many of the traditional southern dishes we see today.
  3. He was a member of the Royal Academy of Arts

Three of George’s personality traits.

  1. Hard-working
  2. Persistent
  3. Kind

3 ways that I am just like him.

  1. I like to invent new things
  2. I search for opportunities, even if they are hard to find
  3. I would like to make discoveries that could help all of humanity

March Challenges

Math Plus Academy turns 5 years old this month! In honor of our 5 year anniversary the theme for challenges this month are the teacher’s, director’s and assistant’s favorite challenges of all time! We hope you love them as much as we do.  Good luck!

Techs:

How can you cut  a cake into 8 equal pieces with only 3 cuts?

Print

 

Operatives:

A local bicycle shop sells a lot of bicycles and tricycles.  A bicycle has 2 wheels and a tricycle has 3 wheels.  There are 17 wheels in the shop all together.  How many bicycles and tricycles are in the shop?

Analysts:

There is a jar of amoebas in a table.  The amount of amoebas doubles every minute.  If the jar is full at 12pm noon, what time is the jar half full?

 

 

Print

Agents:

There are 13 people in a room.  If everyone shakes hands with everyone else exactly once, how many handshakes occur?

 

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Special Ops:

How many squares are on a standard 8 x 8 chess board?

*Hint: the answer is not 64

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Stephen Hawking

Born

January 8th, 1942

Died

Still living

Best known for

Exploring the nature of black holes

 

Watch this video about Stephen Hawking

The greatest challenge Stephen Hawking faced was…

His physical limitations caused by Lou Gehrig’s disease. Hawking didn’t just lose his ability to walk, he also lost his ability to speak and even feed himself.

He overcame that challenge by…

Adapting to each new obstacle the disease caused. He started by learning to move around in a wheelchair. Eventually he learned to speak again by using his cheek muscles to type words into a special computer that spoke for him.

Our favorite quotes by Stephen Hawking

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

Stephen Hawking’s 3 greatest achievements:

  1. He continued to research and study the universe, even through his terrible disease.
  2. He was named a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
  3. His research has greatly expanded what we know about black holes today.

One thing we were surprised to learn about Stephen Hawking was that…

Although Hawking is British, the computer voice he uses has an American accent.  Even when the computer software company came out with a British accent voice, Stephen said he could never change the voice he had come to love as his own.

Three of Hawking’s personality traits.

  1. Resilient
  2. Curious
  3. Innovative

3 ways that I am just like him.

  1. I don’t give up on challenges. I adapt and work through them.
  2. Even the greatest difficulties in life could never stop my curiosity.
  3. I often wonder about black holes and the universe.

February Challenges

This Month’s Challenges are all sudoku puzzles. The goal is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits 1-9 so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 sub-grids contain all of the digits 1-9 without any repeating in a single column, row, or sub-grid.  The key to Sudoku puzzles is that you NEVER have to guess! Think logically and use deductive reasoning to determine where each digit goes. Bring in your successfully completed puzzle to your next class for valuable Experience Points!! Good luck!

Techs:

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Operatives:

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Analysts:

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Agents:

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Special Ops:

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J.K. Rowling

Born

July 31, 1965

Died:

Still living
 

Best known for:

Writing the Harry Potter fantasy series.

 

Watch this video about J.K. Rowling

The greatest challenge J.K. Rowling faced was…

the hardship she experienced as a single mother, living on welfare, getting her master’s degree, and all the while, still trying to become a writer!

She overcame that challenge by…

staying positive and making the best of her situation.  She never let poverty discourage her.  As for being a single mother AND a writer, Rowling did her typing in cafes, while her infant daughter slept beside her.

Our favorite quotes by J.K. Rowling

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

J.K. Rowling’s 3 greatest achievements:

  1. She wrote the Harry Potter books.  One of which became the fasted selling book of all time!
  2. Her books were later turned into movies, which became the highest grossing film franchise of all time!
  3. She now donates her time and money to many charities, including organizations that help single mothers get out of poverty, just like she did.

One thing we were surprised to learn about J.K. Rowling was that…

J. K. Rowling doesn’t have a middle name! She was originally going to publish under the name Joanne Rowling, but her publishers didn’t think young boys would want to read a book by a woman.  They told her to use two initials instead, so Rowling picked the middle initial “K” for her grandmother Kathleen.

Three of Rowling’s personality traits.

  1. Optimistic
  2. Determined
  3. Kindhearted

3 ways that I am just like her.

  1. I know that by staying positive, I can overcome any disappointment in life.
  2. I find time to do the things I love, even if I am very busy.
  3. I like to imagine and write magical stories (and sometimes I wish I had magic!)

January Challenges

This Month’s Challenges are all tangram puzzles. The tangram is a dissection puzzle, originally invented in China, consisting of seven flat shapes, called tans, which are put together to form shapes. The objective of the puzzle is to form a specific shape (given only an outline or silhouette) using all seven pieces, which may not overlap. However, the pieces can be flipped and rotated as needed. Click on the “Print” button to print the tangram puzzle for your level, cut out the attached tangram pieces and glue them onto the given shape without any overlapping, left out or extra pieces.  Bring in your successfully completed puzzle to your next class for a valuable XP! Good luck!

Here are the pieces used to solve each puzzle:

Techs:

The Rabbit

Print

Operatives:

The Fox

Print

Analysts:

The Swan

Print

Agents:

The Sailboat

Print

Special Ops:

The House

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Walt Disney

Born

December 5th, 1901 in Chicago, IL

Died

December 15th, 1966
 

Best known for:

His influence on the field of entertainment since founding The Walt Disney Company and the creation of Mickey Mouse

 

Watch this video about Walt Disney

If I were Walt Disney I would…

1. Never give up on my dreams
2. Spend all of my time drawing and doodling
3. Think of all kinds of ways to make people laugh and smile

The greatest challenge Walt Disney faced was…

his first business, Laugh-O-Grams Studio ended in bankruptcy

He overcame that challenge by…

never giving up! He went to Hollywood to pursue his dream.

Our favorite quote by Walt Disney.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Walt Disney’s 3 greatest achievements:

  1. Earned 22 Academy Awards – more than anyone else in history!
  2. Won 3 Oscars and has a star on Hollywood Blvd.
  3. Changed the world of entertainment forever by produced the first animated cartoon with sound and color.  Also produced the first full length animated feature – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Produced the first full length film combining real life and animation – Mary Poppins.

One thing we were surprised to learn about Walt Disney was that…

Despite success and popularity of his first business, Laugh-O-Grams Studio, it ended in bankruptcy.  He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to enlist in the military, but was rejected due to his age and so he became an ambulance driver.

Three of Disney’s personality traits.

  1. Optimistic
  2. Persistent
  3. Motivated

3 ways that I am just like him.

  1. Positive
  2. Driven
  3. I like to make people smile

December Challenges

This month’s challenges are all Math Olympiad problems! Math Olympiad problems are designed to be challenging and make you think. You must use problem solving strategies to arrive at the answer. Sometimes more than one strategy might work, but some may be more efficient and flexible than others. Consider these problem solving strategies as you attack the problem

  • Draw a picture or diagram
  • Make an organized list
  • Make a table
  • Solve a simpler, related problem first
  • Find a pattern
  • Experiment and be creative
  • Work backwards

You must bring in the correct solution and identify which strategy (or strategies) you used to earn your Experience Points.  Good luck!

 

Techs:

There are 16 teams in the local basketball tournament.  There can only be one winner.  It will be a single-elimination style tournament.  That is, a team will be out of the tournament after one loss.  How many games will the championship team have to play?

Print

 

Operatives:

You have 2 water jugs.  One jug measures exactly 3 cups of water.  The other jug measures exactly 5 cups of water.  There are no other measurement lines on either jug.  You can empty a jug out or fill a jug up completely, but you can’t estimate and fill it part way. How can you use these two jugs to measure out exactly 1 cup of water?

 

 Print

Analysts:

I have a barn full of 18 animals.  Some are chickens and some are cows.  There are no other animals in the barn. I counted 50 animal legs inside the barn.  How many of the animals are chickens and how many are cows?

 Print

Agents:

 

Five people are introduced to each other, and each person shakes the hands with each of the others exactly once.  How many handshakes are exchanged altogether among the five people?

 

Print

Special Ops:

 

You have 4 pieces of chain with 3 links apiece.  You want to connect them all into one continuous chain.  A jeweler will charge you $2 to open a link and $3 to close a link.  How can you have the four pieces joined to form a continuous chain for only $15?

 

Print

Sophie Germain

Born

April 1st, 1776

Died

June 27th, 1831

Best known for:

Her work on the Theory of Elasticity

 

Watch this video about Sophie Germain!

If I were Sophie Germain I would wonder about…

1. Why rubber stretches, but glass breaks
2. How foam returns to the same shape after you squeeze it
3. What are the physical properties of Jell-O

The greatest challenge Sophie Germain faced was…

the discrimination she faced as a woman. Sophie wasn’t allowed to go to college, and people often didn’t take her seriously, all because she was female.

She overcame that challenge by…

Teaching herself mathematics, reading college lecture notes, and even writing to professors using a man’s name!

Our favorite quote by Sophie Germain:

The more one reflects, the more one acknowledges that necessity governs the world. At each new progress of science, that which seemed contingent is recognized as being necessary. Multiple relations are established between the branches that we had thought to be separate; we observe laws where we had thought there were only accidental events. We approach more and more the unity of being…

Sophie Germain’s 3 greatest achievements:

  1. She taught herself difficult math like Calculus, without ever going to college
  2. She was the first woman to win an award from the Paris Academy of Sciences
  3. She came up with theories in science and math that are still used today

One thing we were surprised to learn about Sophie Germain was that…

She developed all of her mathematical theories without ever going to college!

Three of Germain’s personality traits.

  1. Knowledge Hungry
  2. Persistent
  3. Not easily discouraged

3 ways that I am just like her.

  1. I like to teach myself new things
  2. I’m always looking for ways to be a better mathematician.
  3. I am not afraid to work hard to reach my goals.

November Challenges

This month’s challenges are all number mazes.  In these mazes, the number you’re standing on tells you how many spaces you can move. You’ll start on the number in the upper left corner, which means your first move will be that many spaces either down or to the right. The number you land on will tell you how many spaces you can jump on your next move. You may only move up, down, left, or right. You may not move diagonally and you may not turn mid-move (you must stay in the same row or column for an entire move until you get to the next space).  See you if you can figure out a strategy to help you.  Can you make it to finish?

Tech:

Print

Operative:

 Print

Analyst:

 

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Agent:

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Special Ops:

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