Evolution: Bean Game

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we spent the first half of class outside today playing an evolution bean game.  The class was divided into thirds, with one-third of students receiving a plastic fork, spoon, or knife.  All students received a plastic cup.  The cup served as the “mouth” and the eating utensil was the “hand”.  One bag of 1000 pinto beans was scattered in a section of the front lawn, and students had to move the beans from the ground to the cup using only the utensil.  After two minutes, the students gathered in their utensil groups and counted the total number of beans collected.  We repeated the activity again, changing the number of students with each utensil and collecting additional data.  We then went back into the classroom and analyzed our results.   Students calculated the average number of beans obtained by each group member, the average number of beans available to each group, and how many students it would take with each utensil to obtain the average number of beans available to each group.  Students then thought about the factors that affected the class results, sharing their ideas on the white board (below).  Finally, students were challenged to improve the game, writing ideas for how to evolve the bean game and make it even more engaging for all students.

Bean Game Factors