the Game of Tic -Tac -Toe
Experiment -- grade 2 )
This article illustrates how the `Scientific' attitude can be
exhibited even in a simple, basic experiment conducted by a little
`Scientific' thinking and
execution does not absolutely require high
degrees of formal education, expensive equipment, or a large
number of people. All that is required for a productive
scientific undertaking is :
* the ability to observe the
world around us,
* the formation of a
* design of experiments to
test the hypothesis,
* meticulous execution of the
* an un-biased re-examination
of the hypothesis, in light of the
* conclusions drawn regarding
the veracity of the original hypothesis,
and * a
clear and concise presentation of the results.
The `scientist' also requires
a high degree of honesty in the conduct
of the experiments and in the presentation.
Described below is the Grade
2 Science Project of our son,
Ohmkar. Each student in his class was expected to select and
conduct some science-related project, and make a presentation
about it. Ohmkar rejected several suggestions for his project ...
some of these suggestions involved merely collecting and presenting
data about which brands of toothpaste his neighbours used, etc.
At around 6 years of age,
Ohmkar was quite interested in playing
the game of tic-tac-toe. Tic-tac-toe is the familiar
two-player game, played on a 3 x 3 matrix board. The players
take turns placing their tokens on the 9 squares on the board.
The player who first gets three of his tokens to line up,
wins. Ohmkar selected this game as his science
We were impressed by
planning, execution, and presentation of the
project. And, we were especially pleased to notice the firmness
with which he denied his parents any part at all in preparing the
presentaion. (We did play the part of his opponent during the
test-games he played to collect data.) He did not
allow us even to draw the parallel guidelines (on his
presentation-board) along which he would write the text and figures to
create the display. This refusal to cheat was a most
pleasant reward for the way he was being brought up.
Appendix 1 below is a transcript of
his presentation-board, which was about
1.8 metre wide and 0.75 metre deep.
-- Mukund and Jaya Joglekar
Transcript of Ohmkar's Presentation
Hypothesis : The center
square is the best to start to win a
Tic -Tac -Toe game.
squares on the Tic -Tac -Toe board are of
(The center square)
It can win in 4 ways.
(The 4 corner squares)
It can win in 3 ways.
(Middle squares of sides)
It can win in 2 ways.
10 games of Tic -Tac -Toe starting
When a player wins a game, he/she gets 2 points.
When a player loses, he/she gets 0 points.
When a game is a draw, each player gets 1 point.
I added the points scored by the starter, in each set of 10
Type 2 starter scored the
most points .
hypothesis was incorrect.
A corner square (Type 2) is the best to
start to win a Tic
-Tac -Toe game.