The Math Behind Spot it!
A few weeks ago we were playing Spot it!, a fun matching game that is one of our family's favorites. It's very accessable to all ages, and excellent brain exercise.

Math Dad and I got talking about how they designed the cards so that there's exactly one matching image for each pair of cards, and it turns out to be a rather fun math problem. As we were discussing it, we realized that the deck of Spot it is missing two cards.

The math they used to build Spot it produced 57 cards, but each deck only has 55 cards. This made us really curious to figure out exactly which cards were missing.

We did a bit of sleuthing and made a video about it. It's a little nerdy, but I hope you enjoy it. And if you'd like a little more math, check out the excellent document that Math Dad put together. (you'll find the file make-spot-finite.pdf at the bottom of this post.)

And last - just for fun - are some thumbnail images we didn't use for our video. Thumbnails and titles are a big deal in YouTube. Just like a good book cover will get people to pick up the book, a good video thumbnail will help your video find its audience, and a bad one will repel viewers.

"Let's try you pushing a can against my face," was Math Dad's idea.

Thumbnails with faces or people on them do better (generally) than those without faces, so I like to try to get us on the thumbnails when I can.

But sometimes you're just much better off with a thumbnail that doesn't have a person on it. After several takes (and some good laughs), we gave up on the idea of us with the Spot It! can, and I opened up Keynote to create this:

You always want the emotion and promise of the thumbnail image to be reflective of the video, and I think the version we ended on is a much better match. Anyway, enjoy! And thank you again for your support.

-Science Mom

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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 81 exclusive posts
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