ONSETS^{®} was created by by Layman E. Allen (University of Michigan), Peter Kugel (Boston University) and Martin Owens (Mitre Corporation). This intriguing game for two or three players teaches logic and set theory, which is the foundation of modern mathematics. Players learn the concepts of union, intersection, logical differences, complement, identity, inclusion, and null and universal sets.
ONSETS^{®} involves set manipulation and goal setting through the use of cards, cubes and a timer. Sixteen cards containing all possible combinations of blue (B), red (R), green (G), and yellow (Y) dots are dealt to form the Universe, the set of cards, which are dealt before the Goal is set. The number of cards that must be dealt depends on the player's division.
Cubes are rolled to form Resources for the Goal and Solution(s).
Students play in groups of two or three. Each player rolls a digit cube to see who has the highest number. That player gives the first variation, rolls the cubes, and sets the goal. The player to the right lays out the universe. The player to the left will be the second player.
To make the game more interesting and challenging, special rules called Variations are in force in each division: Elementary, Middle, Junior, and Senior. Before the cubes are rolled, each player selects a variation from the list for the division. Beginning with the first player, the players name one variation apiece for a total of three. In a twoplayer game, the second player will name two variations.
Within the first two minutes, the first player uses the digit cubes to set a Goal, which is the number of cards that must be in the solution set. Each player must use the symbols rolled to form a set equal to the Goal. For example, a Solution for a Goal of 5 might be B R ("blue union red"), which represents a set of five cards, which contain either a blue OR a red dot.
GOAL 
MEANING 
GOAL 
MEANING 


A + B 
 A x B x C  
 A + B + C 
 A (B+C) or AB + AC 


A x B 

(AB) + C 
The second player has two minutes to make his/her first move. During subsequent plays, students take onemintue turns moving cubes to the Required, Permitted, or Forbidden sections of the playing mat pictured below until a Challenge can be made.
RESOURCES  
FORBIDDEN 
PERMITTED 
REQUIRED 

The playing mat for ONSETS^{®} consists of five sections.
To challenge, a player must pick up the challenge block and state the challenge.
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