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“Escape the CMB” Maze

An unconventional maze

ASTROFEST 2019 saw the premier of the “Escape the Cosmic Microwave Background Maze”; an activity for communicating the complex astrophysical concept of random chance in an engaging manner.

Target Audience:

This activity is best suited to children in upper primary or middle school. It requires a good level of concentration as there is a possibility that any given child or team of children will have to make many tens of rolls of the dice to finish the maze, where another child could make as little as three. If you wish to use this activity in your classroom and would like more information or have feedback on this activity, please contact our outreach coordinator.

Equipment:

  1. Print outs of the ASTRO 3D “Escape the CMB” maze (available for free below). These can be A4 or larger
  2. At least one 4-sided dice, up to one 4-sided dice per team. Or the use of a random number generator such as www.random.org
  3. A counter per team, of different colours
  4. Pencils

Extra Optional Equipment:

  1. Graph paper or a computer to graph the results of all the teams

Set up:

The activity itself needs no setup once it has been printed. If your group of children is large, you may wish to split them up into teams, or you may wish to have every person be their own ‘team’. The activity allows for 4 teams per printed sheet, which may become unwieldy if the teams are too large and the activity sheets too small (print on A3 or larger if using large teams).

Activity sheet:

The activity sheet is double sided. Please consider the environment and print these on both sides.

If you do not have a four-sided dice but would still prefer to roll your numbers than use an online random number tool, below is a template you can print, cut out and stick together into a D4. It won’t be properly weighted, but will give you the fun of rolling the dice.

D4 template