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 12-12-12?" I must admit that I have no file on 12-12-12.... So, why not create some teacher-based 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:
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...
- 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.
Second, have students investigate the etymology of the word "twelve." For example, Wikipedia claims that "The word 'twelve' is the largest number with a single-morpheme name in English. Etymology suggests that 'twelve'...arises from the Germanic compound twalif 'two-leftover,' 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 12-ness...
Fourth, ask students to explore why the number 12 is used so much in our society:
- Make dodecagons (12-sided 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
Finally, get other non-math teachers involved in the movement:
- 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.
Hope this gives everyone a start....let me know what interesting things you did...
- 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 (12-tone music)
- Analyze the mathematics and societal costs of Twelve Days of Christmas
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!