In most domino games, players in turn place one tile edge-to-edge against another until all the tiles are covered or some specified total is reached. The first player to do so wins the game. Some sets come with a special scoring mechanism so that each player’s score can be determined after the game has ended.
Many different games can be played with dominoes, and there are also some ways in which they can be used to teach math concepts. One example involves using dominoes to illustrate the commutative property of addition. Students can choose a domino, name its dot pattern, and write an equation with its addends. Students can then move the domino around on a mat and see how changing its orientation affects the number of dots it contains. This activity helps bridge the gap between using moveable manipulatives like cubes and writing only symbolic representations of numbers and equations.
Dominos has a strong culture that emphasizes listening to its customers and acting on feedback. This is reflected in their core value of “Champion Our Customers,” which has become the driving force behind their recent turnaround. The company has implemented new leadership training programs, relaxed its dress code, and revamped their college recruiting system—all in the name of listening to customers.
The word “domino” means to fall over or crush, which is a very appropriate name for these flat, rectangular pieces of wood or plastic. Each domino has an arrangement of spots, or pips, on one side that distinguishes it from other dominoes and enables it to be recognized as a unique piece. The other sides of the domino are either blank or identically patterned. Dominoes may be made of natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black or white pips; or they can be made of polymer, which is cheaper and more durable.
Some players use their dominoes to make art. They might draw a grid that forms pictures when the dominoes are stacked, or they might create curved lines or 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. Others play for entertainment and challenge themselves to build the largest domino chain possible. A domino artist has to consider how each domino will be positioned in relation to its neighbors and whether the structure will be stable when completed.
Physicist Stephen Morris, who has studied dominoes and their potential for energy conversion, says that standing a domino upright gives it potential energy or stored energy. When it falls, this energy converts to kinetic energy, which propels the next domino over it and causes even more to fall. The sequence continues until all the dominoes have fallen. These energy transfers are called Domino’s Law. The energy of the dominoes is transmitted through the connections that connect them—called open ends—to each other. Some of this energy is converted to kinetic energy when the first domino falls, but most of it remains in the system, transferring from one domino to its neighbor.