Time for Dozenalists to Celebrate?
A.D. (Tunesia) sent this note to me relative to the content provided on MathNEXUS: "Anything interesting planned for 12/12/12...perhaps at 12:12 and 12 seconds on that day?" I must admit I had not known this special moment was about to arrive....
Then, K.B. (Sumner) wrote: "I was wondering if you had any fun activities or ideas for 121212?" I must admit that I have no file on 121212.... So, why not create some teacherbased ideas for this special celebration....
First, focus on special properties of 12. Ask students to search out examples (with accompanying mathematical explanations)...some possibilities are:
 12 is the smallest "abundant" number
 12 is a "pentagonal" number
 12 is smallest number with 6 factors
 12 is a "superfactorial"
 12 is a "sublime" number
 12 is largest known even number expressible as the sum of two primes in one way (5 + 7), etc.
Some suitable resources are Archimedes fun website
or Wikipedia's lengthy list
or Stetson's list
or these options. Do a search and you will find more...
Second, have students investigate the etymology of the word "twelve." For example, Wikipedia claims that "The word 'twelve' is the largest number with a singlemorpheme name in English. Etymology suggests that 'twelve'...arises from the Germanic compound twalif 'twoleftover,' so a literal translation would yield 'two remaining [after having ten taken].' This compound meaning may have been transparent to speakers of Old English, but the modern form "twelve" is quite opaque. Only the remaining tw hints that twelve and two are related."
Third, involve students in doing special things based on 12ness...
 Make dodecagons (12sided polygons) or dodecahedrons
 Force students to do all their math calculations using only base 12
 Look up the Dozenal Society, which wants U.S. to convert to using only base twelve instead of base ten
Fourth, ask students to explore why the number 12 is used so much in our society:
 12 inches in a foot
 12 months in a year
 12 hours in a clock cycle
 12 ribs in human body
 12 people on a jury
 12 knights on Round Table, etc.
Finally, get other nonmath teachers involved in the movement:
 Look at and analyze movies such as Twelve Angry Men or Twelve Monkeys or Cheaper By the Dozen
 Read Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
 Listen to the composer Schoenberg's dodecaphonic compositions (12tone music)
 Analyze the mathematics and societal costs of Twelve Days of Christmas
Hope this gives everyone a start....let me know what interesting things you did...
And, looking forward to next year, let's start getting prepared to celebrate November 12 (i.e. 11/12/13) at 8:09:10 o'clock!
