Flour. Tower. How Do You Make a Game with Two Pennies and a Cup of Flour
Once again, a big thank you to the 4-H club of Prince William County, Virginia, who demonstrated this game at this summer’s 2011 County Fair.
2 pennies (any coin will do)
1 cup of flour
2 small paper cups
Cookie sheet, table top or counter
1. Fill a small paper cup with flour. The kind of cups the dentist uses, or kid’s yoghurt containers both work well. Pat the flour down gently in the cup.
2. Turn the paper cup over gently onto the cookie sheet. You can also put a small plate over the cup and turn the cup over onto the plate.
3. Lift the paper cup off the flour, gently, leaving a tower behind.
4. Put a penny on top of the tower of flour.
5. With a spoon, carve away as much of the flour as you can without collapsing the tower.
6. Thinnest tower wins.
7. This game can be played by one or any number of people.
A Game of Skill and Imagination
This game is endlessly fascinating because the tower of flour stays in place perfectly until one carving too many makes it collapse.
You can play against yourself or compete with any number of people.
You can imagine the wind and sands out West carving out the rocks, leaving spindly towers just like the ones you are making.
Why does the flour hold together?
Why does a gentle push or making the tower thinner make it collapse suddenly?
Can you make the tower as thin if you use nickels? Quarters?
Do spoons work better or knives?
Would it work with cornstarch? Baby powder? Wet sand?
To you and making memories with your grandchildren.
Carol Covin, “Granny-Guru”
- What is the fewest amount of coins it takes to make change for any money amount between 1 cent and 1 dollar (wiki.answers.com)