Eternal Flame
(page 106)

The precocious seventh-graders of Monroe City Middle School in Monroe City, MO have offered this solution to Eternal Flame. Of course, this is a structure built out of blocks, and they've described it in words (no mean feat). If some of you in web-land can solve this (especially if you find a different solution) and can use the computer to draw it, I'd love to get your drawing and put it on the web.

Meanwhile, you should see (a) if you can understand their solution and (b) if you agree.

Hi Tim,

Ashley, Jennifer, Megan, Matthew and Officer Bill (our DARE Officer Resource - he likes to help answer these problems too!) from the Monroce City Middle School attempted to solve Eternal Flame with linking blocks. We made a structure that resembles a torch with the following pattern:

6th level - red block

5th level - red block

4th level - red block

3rd level - green block

2nd level - blue   - yellow
            yellow - blue (in a flat square, linked)

1st level - green block

The first level did NOT link with the second and the second did NOT link with the third. Both green blocks are placed in the center of the second level (remember not linking).

In the first clue, it never indicated that the "touching" meant touch by "face". However, the blue and yellow blocks are touching faces as indicated.

So, teachers and kids out there, we know that one of the four process standards in Communication. Isn't the description of a 3-D structure with words alone interesting? Of course, a picture would be easier, but what do you think about how clearly they wrote this. Could it be clearer? What would you do?

Do you have solutions to this or any other problem in United We Solve (or Get It Together)? Just write to

P.S. A million thanks and kudos to Officer Bill...

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