Fun with math at MoMath

An interactive Museum of Math dubbed MoMath is opening in New York City on Dec. 15 funded by a math-loving financial analyst named Glenn Whitney.

Math Midway, a traveling exhibition of math marvels, is touring science museums as a preview: Kids can “ride the square-wheeled tricycle, spin the universal wheel of chance or dare to challenge the ring of fire.” Also included: “mind-bending mirrors, terrific tessellations and perfectly packed patterns.”

MoMath will show that math matters, writes Daniel Willingham, who shows Joel Klein, the former New York schools chancellor, on the trike. (It “can be ridden smoothly on a track with inverted curves, calculated to keep the axles of the trike level.”)

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Comments

  1. Makes me think of the Tech Museum in San Jose. What I’ve seen there is depressing: kids fiddle with an exhibit for a few seconds, then move on. Has anyone witnessed meaningful engagement and learning going on there?

    • Deirdre Mundy says:

      We’ve had good luck with our kids at both Chicago’s MSI and and the Indy Children’s Museum. We’ve also seen some kids who just run through every exhibit pushing buttons and acting like its a science-themed Chucky Cheeses.

      Basically, some kids are ‘museum kids’ and will get a lot out of these places. Some kids find them dull and would rather not be there. If a kid’s not already curious and interested in the subject, these museums won’t do any good, but they’re like little slices of heaven for kids who want to dig into the subject.

  2. “…science-themed Chucky Cheeses.”

    Very funny!

    I’d want to know how loud the place is. I’ve been to a number of kids’ science museums that are so loud that you can barely hear yourself think, which I think encourages running-and-button-pushing behavior. I’m not talking about just kid noise, but the bells and whistles that are part of the exhibits themselves.

  3. Katie Jones says:

    This looks like a great idea. Hopefully it works out and gets kids more interested in math.

  4. Blessings to the guy, and let’s hope it works, but unfortunately, most Americans (of any age) are too stupid to enjoy such a thing. :( (Like the Chuck E Cheese’s comment above.)