Monday, February 26, 2018

Making Math (More) Fun for Museum Visitors

As I've been working on exhibit installations and new museum building (re)opening at The Discovery Museums in Acton, MA, I've been thinking about how to present and interpret different bits of content -- like MATH.

Lots of people claim to "hate" math topics, but I've recently fallen down the rabbit hole of Numberphile, a great math-oriented website and related YouTube channel filled with all sorts of clever ideas that should be of interest to educators and exhibit designers alike.

One of the things I like best about the Numberphile videos is that each mathematician is so enthusiastic, you can't help but get excited and interested in things like "circle inversions" that you might not have even given a passing thought to before.

While I've honestly enjoyed every Numberphile presenter I've seen, some are particular standouts.

Tadashi Tokieda often relates his math talks to toys or familiar materials.  Here's a video (embedded below or on YouTube) that shows all the fun topological ways to play with a strip of paper, some paper clips, and rubber bands.

Hannah Fry is a funny presenter who often ties the mathematics of game theory to real life situations like winning Rock, Paper, Scissors (video below or on YouTube) or Secret Santa, or making the best online dating profile.

If you are a bit "math shy" or even an avowed mathphobe, click on over to Numberphile!  I'm sure you will find something to pique your interest there.

Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

P.S. If you receive ExhibiTricks via email (or Facebook or LinkedIn) you will need to click HERE to go to the main ExhibiTricks page to make comments or view multimedia features (like videos!)