Giant Twix – A Video Story Problem

Apr 11, 2016 by

After an almost two-year hiatus, I actually set aside some time to edit together a new video story problem. It’s not a particularly difficult video, nor is it highly polished…but it does involve candy, so that’s a plus, right? Truth be told, to create a video story problem properly (or at least the current way I feel is proper) involves pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Among a list of internal checklists, here’s a few items that I typically have to go through when creating a video story problem out in “the wild”:

  1. Ask permission of a store employee before recording in an established business.
  2. Ignore the strange looks and gawking from people around you as you record yourself in public asking math questions and doing multiple “takes.”
  3. Fight the urge to turn the story into a full production; they should be short and simple.

NONE of the above tasks is easy for me; while it’s true, I do enjoy being in the limelight (I flirted with the idea of being a theater major in college), being a “lone nut” with a camera out in the real world is incredibly intimidating, and makes me all sorts of nervous. So rather than continuing to dwell on it, here’s a short, sweet, and hopefully engaging video story problem that likely has many different answers, depending on where you are in the world, and how pricey Twix bars are at your corner candy store.

Other than agreeing not to show the store’s logo prominently or divulge its name in the video, this candy store was full of all sorts of goodies. Dozens of varieties of sour candies, every flavor of pop rocks ever made, and an entire wall of “giant” candy like the “Yard of Twix” that I used in the video. I thought it would be fun to see how well the price of 18 Twix bars ($27.99 at the time I made the video) compared to the price of an individual Twix bar in your average candy shop, and whether it would be a better deal to purchase the 18 bars altogether, or separately.

Conventional wisdom says that buying in bulk is typically cheaper, but it was a popular candy store in an extremely popular tourist destination in the greater Los Angeles area, so I thought it would be interesting to see how things played out around the globe, or at least in the few places where people actually read my blog…and have enough interest to figure this out.

twix at Meijer

The current price of a 1.79 oz Twix bar at Meijer, a regional Grocery chain, had Twix bars listed for $0.87, a great deal.

As it turns out, a “Yard of Twix” was actually a pretty bad deal compared to the cost of a Twix bar for me back at home. For just 87 cents, I can buy a Twix at Meijer, a regional grocery chain in the Midwest. That means for just $15.66, I could purchase 18 individual packages of Twix. Which begs the question; is this the same cost everywhere? Are there places where the 18 bar package would be a better buy than 18 singles? Are the prices in Los Angeles that much higher? Is it marked up because of the novelty or location of the store? These are the questions that rattle around in my head from time to time.

Would I actually purchase the “Yard of Twix?” If I was with a large group of people, and we wanted something sweet, probably; the novelty of that box, and being able to say “I bought a yard of Twix” is just too good to pass up. Would you make the purchase?

4 Comments

  1. Kaycee Dammann

    This is great! Thank you so much for creating this! I am going to be sharing it with my math teachers. 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed! I’ve got a few more coming…it’s been fun to return to a project after a long break; get to see things fresh and I have a better idea of what I’m doing.

  2. Kelli Ching

    Hi Ben,

    Do you have a rubric that you use to grade the student-created video story problems?

    — Kelli

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