Gathering For Gardner 2012, Sandy Hook Kentucky
Turn your screen upside down if you can.

By Science Fun and the Rocky Adkins Public Library

Gathering for Gardner is a worldwide celebration of the mind, the work of Martin Gardner and a few of the puzzles and mental challenges he popularized. 
Our gathering had tangrams, mechanical puzzles, a little magic, some recreational math problems, topology, origami, hex, hexiflexigons, and string figures.
Something for all ages. 
We had about 30 folks come to see what it was all about.
It was scheduled to last two hours but went for three and a half.
It would probably still be going on if some of the participants had their way.

There were Tangrams

The Annotated Alice put in an appearance even though the narrator didn't want to.

Some learned to play Hex.
Blue has just blocked red's planned path.

We did some string figures.
   Some who were here knew how to do Jacob's Ladder, Cup and Saucer, Crow's Feet, Cat's Whiskers and showed us how.

Some topological puzzles were there to provide a challenge for some of us.

Though this 4 year old didn't have a problem solving these.

Topological tangles of ropes and people was both puzzling and magic.

Everyone liked to try to predict what would happen when they cut a mobius strip.

The works of M C Escher and Scott Kim were on hand to puzzle over and enjoy.

We had instruction in origami.

Martin Gardner had many packing puzzles in his columns.
Here is a packing puzzle for you.
A shopkeeper had a problem with his helper who wasn't able to count to 100.  To make it possible for the helper to count the change at the end of the day he built a small tray that would hold exactly 10 rows of 10 pennies each.  He told the helper if he filled the tray evenly he would have exactly 100 coins worth $1.00.  The shopkeeper was annoyed when he checked the count one day and found that there were always 105 coins when he thought there should have been 100.  However, since the state had just started collecting a 5% sales tax he decided that he could use the extra to cover the tax.  That worked until the local county imposed an additional 1% tax.  When he told the helper that they would have to add 1 penny more than would fit in the tray the helper said he could put another penny in if he just arranged them a little differently.   

The helper also suggested that they put legs on the tray so they could call it a tax table.

What were the three arrangements of the coins?

Look closely and you can see one of the solutions in the second picture.

There was a little physics magic.

Even the youngest were able to participate.

A few more pictures of the event.

Somehow I missed getting pictures of people making flexigons but here is Vi Hart's video.
It shows you all about how to make and flex flexigons.

This page has templates and easy instructions for making them.
And this page has links to even more

These posters were on display to show some of what Martin Gardner has done and how he made it fun to play with mathematical ideas.
These posters were created by Jorge Nuno Silva. Thank you Jorge.

More information about this world wide celebration is available HERE.

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