Last spring my husband and I went to the World Science Festival in Manhattan. He is a high school science teacher and I am the math editor for Princeton so we thought this was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The exhibits were wonderful but our favorite was the Math Midway. It also was the most crowded. There were all kinds of hands-on exhibits, puzzles, and even a tricycle with square wheels. We loved the NASA exhibit and the Virginia Tech robot, Charlie, but we kept going back to the Math Midway. Seeing the excited, and sometimes concentrated, looks on the faces of kids and adults alike was almost as much fun as being a part of the action.
Even better than this, we learned that the Math Midway was a preview of what will become the Museum of Mathematics. It will be a unique and innovative institution which will strive to enhance public understanding and perception of mathematics as an evolving, creative, and aesthetic human endeavor. Slated to open in Spring 2012, the Museum’s hands-on, interactive exhibits will provide a place for children and adults to become excited about math. MoMath will be North America’s only museum devoted to the wonders of mathematics and its many connections, from art to science to finance.
In addition to the exhibits that we saw in the Math Midway, there will be lectures, classroom events, and a gift shop where you can purchase all kinds of great math toys. If you just can’t wait, go to http://momath.org/shop to find a great math gift. You will also be supporting the Museum. If you would like to know more about the museum, visit http://momath.org/. If you will be attending the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans this January, please stop by their exhibit.