Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 3 - "Blackout" - Maintaining Balance

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

In the episode, there is a series of attacks on the substations that provide electricity to the city of Los Angeles. The network of substations in a city is set up so that if one substation is knocked out, then the other substations provide more electricity to make up for the missing service. Charlie explains the concept of a cascading failure using the game of JENGA®.
Students will explore the game of JENGA® and determine how to avoid bringing down the network.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.