Friday, 22 August 2014

Welcome to Fuzzington - Land of Opportunity

We are launching into our inquiry into "How We Organise Ourselves", using the Australian Parliament as our primary inspiration as a system that is organised. So far it has been a lot of fun.

Part of this inquiry has involved us in creating our own country and parliament to run it. We started with a large blank sheet of calico and each student got to draw part of the coastline.

Of course we had to find a name for our country. Being a democracy, we implemented a complicated series of nominations and votes. The winner was "Fuzzington".

Once the outline was established, we added cities, towns and geographical features. A bit of mapping was required so we found out about "BOLTSSNA", an acronym close to the hearts of Year 7 geography teachers everywhere.

O = Orientation

L = Legend

S = Scale

Lots of opportunity here for maths learning and inquiry.

With our newly established country, we needed some infrastructure. So I gave each student $50 000 000 - I'm generous like that. 

First item on the agenda was road building. At $1m per cm, it wasn't going to be cheap. Lots of measuring, calculating and negotiating ensured. But the benefit in building a road was that your electorate would get $5m next financial year for each town it was connected to. You've got to spend money to make money.

The game has evolved since we started. Each electorate now has a major industry. We held elections and now have a government, opposition and several independents. We spend  time each day debating bills and making laws for Fuzzington. I try to run a new financial year each day so that the money keeps turning over and the country develops.

This morning we voted for a high speed rail connection to be built.

Now where will it go? What will it cost? Whose towns will get connected? What benefits will there be if you are connected by train?

So many questions.

So much maths...


  1. (sorry if this is coming through 2x...sign in issues)

    Great activity Bruce! I love how there is so much maths involved, yet the kids probably do not even realize it. Quick question, did you randomly pick monetary values for their budget and cost of road construction or had you worked out some basic calculations first?

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  3. Hi Scott - thanks for the question. It was a combination of a few things. I had done a few simple calculations first to see how much we were going to need, how far apart the towns were, etc. We also had a discussion once the initial costs were put up. Some thought the airport ($500 million) was far too expensive. There was also some conversation about the rules for things like emergency services, schools etc. These rules evolved as the game progressed. There was a plan to make costs higher for cities (as they had more income) but we never got that far. on Welcome to Fuzzington - Land of Opportunity

  4. Thanks Bruce. I would like to try this out with my students and will let you k ow how it goes.


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