Number games and puzzles have been a fun way to use math around the world for centuries. No number game stands out more than Sudoku! As a number and logic puzzle, Sudoku has become a mainstay of video games, newspapers, phone apps, puzzle books, and airports! This exciting brain teaser is one of the most fun ways to use it to help kids and adults embrace a love for math! Continue reading about the “History of Sudoku: The World’s Favorite Math Puzzle!” to learn why playing Sudoku is so much fun!
To spread the word about this awesome math game, Spark Education is announcing a new Global Sudoku Challenge. The online competition, which will take place October 22-29, calls for children aged 5-12, families, friends, and anyone from beginner- to expert-level Sudoku enthusiasts to sign up, form a team, and participate in the free-to-register event. Registration begins now. Sign up today and take your chance to flex your brain, have fun with families and friends, and also win great prizes!
Continue reading about the “History of Sudoku: The World’s Favorite Math Puzzle!” to learn why playing Sudoku is so much fun!
What is a Sudoku puzzle and how do you solve it?
In classic Sudoku, players are given a puzzle board made up of a 9-by-9 grid. These grids are made up of squares (also called blocks or boxes) and include smaller 3-by-3 sections called regions. Each puzzle will begin with a few squares filled with numbers between 1-9. The goal of Sudoku is to make sure each region, vertical line, and horizontal line includes every number between 1 and 9 with no duplicates. The numbers don’t have to be in any specific order, they just need to include all the numbers with no repeated ones.
Sudoku can be intimidating to people when they see it for the first time. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes an exciting mental challenge you won’t be able to stop playing. Filling out a Sudoku board is a fun and exciting achievement that can be made easier or more challenging by adding or removing a few of the starting filled-in squares. Check out this example below!
What inspired Sudoku?
Math puzzles have been around for centuries. Games like “Magic Squares” or “Latin Squares” use very intricate arithmetic to fill up huge numerical grids. These games were made for the most obsessed mathematicians and puzzle fans. Math is sometimes referred to as the “Universal language” because mathematics is the same all over the world. A phrase or formula has the same meaning. 2+2 always equals 4, no matter what country or language. This allows these math games to b fun no matter where you’re from!
Some of the greatest minds in history would relax with a fun math puzzle. United States founding father Benjamin Franklin was known for his love of magic squares. He would even say of his time as a clerk for the colonial government “I was… tired with sitting there to hear debates, in which, as clerk, I could take no part, and which were often so unentertaining that I (started) to amuse myself with making magic squares” Franklin proved so much in his life as an inventor, scientist, and diplomat, including that even the greatest American minds, would play math games when they got bored. As brilliant as Franklin was, he could never have predicted anyone could play math games like Sudoku from a device they keep in their pockets.
The history of modern Sudoku
In the late 1970s, a retired architect and magazine puzzle maker from Indian, named Howard Garns created the first example of Sudoku. While he built the puzzle anonymously, it was published by Dell Magazines in 1979 under the name “Number Place.” The game became popular enough to be included in puzzle books. While these puzzle books would do well, Garns’ game would find a passionate fan base halfway around the world, in Japan.
In the 1980s, “Number Place” was introduced to Japan under the name Sudoku. The new name was a shortened version of the Japanese phrase “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru,” meaning”the digits are limited to one occurrence.” With a new catchy name, Sudoku started taking Japan by storm.
In North America, crossword puzzles were everywhere, in books, newspapers, and magazines. Crosswords weren’t popular in Japan, so this number game would take the spot as Japan’s go-to puzzle game. This game became the perfect way to have fun while relaxing or traveling. It would soon appear in newspapers, magazines, and even video games around the world.
Sudoku, Spark Education, and making math fun!
Today, Sudoku is a game that makes math and logic fun for all ages and Spark Education is joining to celebrate alongside the passionate puzzle players worldwide with the second Global Sudoku Challenge. For the month of October 2023, Spark Education is inviting children ages 5-12 to participate in this free event online event filled with great puzzles, exciting new ways to play, and cash prizes.
Participants and Winners can receive:
- Cash prizes of up to US $1,000 for winners
- Given the option to donate winnings to a charity of the winner’s choice.
- Children who participate in the team competition and make it to the finals will have the chance to receive a coveted STEM certificate.
- All those who sign up and participate in the competition will receive an electronic certificate of participation that they can later print out and frame if they wish.
Challenge yourself and your family to some of the most exciting and challenging Sudoku puzzles created specifically for this competition. Spark Education is excited to see all the passionate puzzle players try and become a true Sudoku Star! Sign up today!
Try Spark For yourself!
Spark Math by Spark Education has reimagined how kids learn math by changing boring math lessons into exciting math adventures with gamified learning and captivating animations. Spark Math is an online program that provides an interactive and engaging learning experience Taught by experienced teachers in real time. Kids of all skill levels, from Pre-K to 6th grade, will get a new outlook and love for math. Get ready to become a math ace with fun characters, engaging animation, and specialized gamified learning exercises. Get signed up for a free trial today!
Do you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and need a better way for your child to learn? Spark Education’s new learning centers bring the excitement and ingenuity of our online program to local students. Spark Education learning centers create the best environment for kids to learn with live teachers, gamified lessons, and fun ways for kids to learn together. Check out our new Spark Education learn centers here.