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Career Day

For 6th-grade students participating in Virginia Tech's Career Day

Imagine 100 points in a plane. How many distances are there among these points? Does it matter where the points are? Can you make them all the same distance apart? Now, take a sheet of paper. How many sides are there to it? The obvious answer seems to be two, but is that always the case? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this activity.

Students will need scratch paper, pen or pencil, ruler, a strip of paper (to make a Moebius strip), and tape.

Imagine your friends and your friends' friends. How many friends of friends of friends would it take to reach the Queen of England or the quarterback of the Virginia Tech football team? The numbers probably are not so different. We discuss how to represent these connections in terms of networks and show that just a few connections can shrink the overall distance between seemingly vastly separated individuals. It turns out, it really is a small world!