|Mathematics is anything but boring at New York City's newest museum: MoMath|
Girls Preparatory students play with an interactive exhibit at the new National Museum of Mathematics in New York, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. The museum is aimed at kids aged 8 to 13, and curators have given the place a playground feel. The 40 exhibits include a "wall of fire" made up of laser lights that teaches kids about geometry and a square-wheeled tricycle that still manages to produce a smooth ride thanks to a wavy track. AP Photo/Seth Wenig.
By: Karen Matthews, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP).- Squealing schoolchildren ride a square-wheeled tricycle and a "Coaster Roller" that glides over plastic acorns. Downstairs, they fit monkey magnets together at the "Tessellation Station."
This is how math is presented at New York City's brand-new Museum of Mathematics, the only museum of its kind in the United States and a place where math is anything but boring.
"Math's not just memorizing your multiplication tables," said Cindy Lawrence, the museum's associate director. "Math is a creative endeavor, and that's what we want people to realize."
The museum, nicknamed MoMath, opened Dec. 15 on two floors of an office building north of Manhattan's Madison Square Park. It is the brainchild of executive director Glen Whitney, 42, a mathematician and former hedge fund analyst who helped raise $23.5 million for the 19,000-square-foot museum.
Whitney said prominent mathematicians gladly shared their expertise for the museum's hands-on exhibits.
"They're absolutely thrilled," he said. "They're so giving of their time and their energy and their enthusiasm. And I think a lot of mathematicians sort of get the sense that they are working in a misunderstood field."
The museum's target audience is fourth through eighth grades but the exhibits can be enjoyed by younger children on one level while challenging adults on another.
The point of the Coaster Roller is that the acorn-like shapes have a constant diameter although they are not spheres, so the clear plastic sled glides smoothly over them.
The square-wheeled trike works because the wheels align with the exhibit's bumpy track. The bumps are not just any bumps; each one is an upside-down catenary, the shape formed by a chain when you hold both ends.
Other exhibits allow museum-goers to create objects that will be put on display, either by building them with a Tinker Toy-like system called Zome Tools or by computer modeling.
Whitney said one structure built by visitors during MoMath's first weekend was a truncated dodecahedron, which is a three-dimensional shadow of a four-dimensional shape.
The Tessellation Station is a wall that visitors can cover with like-shaped magnets.
Tessellation is the process of creating a plane using repeated geometric shapes, such as a floor tiled with squares or hexagons. MoMath visitors can build tessellations with pieces shaped like rabbits, monkeys and dinosaurs. There also is a Marjorie Rice pentagon, named for an amateur mathematician whose tessellation discoveries were later confirmed by professionals. The museum is highlighting Rice's work in part to spark girls' love of math.
The museum had 700 visitors on its first day, a Saturday, and Lawrence said about 400 school groups have signed up without any advertising by MoMath. "The bookings have been coming fast and furious," she said.
Sharon Collins, a high school math teacher at Bronx Preparatory Charter School who brought a group on Monday, said her students enjoyed the square-wheeled tricycle just as much as the younger kids did.
"The students would ride the bike and then think, why am I able to ride the bike," Collins said. "They saw the real-world connections of math, which are sometimes missing in a classroom setting."
Second-grader Desire'e Thomas of Girls Prep on the Lower East Side was there Monday with her class as well.
"I think that it's very interesting, and I think that it's fun," Desire'e said. "I'm building with different shapes, and I'm playing on them."
Jennifer Florez brought her 4-year-old son to MoMath. She said they'll return for more visits.
"He's a little young for some of the exhibits but there's enough here to keep little ones engaged," she said. "This will be a museum we'll come back to and revisit as he gets older."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
December 27, 2012
Israeli dig uncovers ancient Judaean temple dated to the early monarchic period
After a successful year, Bonhams ends 2012 with over 30 new world auction records
New display of American art at Detroit Institute of Arts commemorates the Civil War
Masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum among the many highlights of TEFAF Maastricht
Bonhams to offer the renowned Oldenburg family collection of classic automobiles
John Van Doren and Dorsey Waxter announced the opening of a new gallery in New York
Art13 London announces focus on Contemporary photography, prints and editions
Despite changes in style, majestic pipe organs endure at Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant parishes
Mathematics is anything but boring at New York City's newest museum: MoMath
Expert, appraiser, and television personality Lark Mason predicts top 10 collecting trends for 2013
Colour Rain at the Bamboo Grove: Seminal Austrian artist Hubert Schmalix turns 60
Prestige watches, sapphires and gold sparkle in Government Auction's New Year's Day Auction
Stephenson's plans festive New Year's Day auction of items from prime Philadelphia estates and residences
Carl Morris' "History of Religions" returns to the Barker Gallery at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
Fred Wilson's artworks explore museum practices within a museum setting
Homelands: One of the year's most anticipated exhibitions, opens in 4 cities across India in 2013
Auckland Triennial curator asks 'If you were to live here...'
Larasati announces sale of artworks by renowned Southeast Asian and Indo-European masters
Major new multimedia project by Tadasu Takamine at Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- A second life for the 'blue gold' that once brought riches to France's southwest
2.- Britain's WWII tunnels rediscovered after six decades buried as a forgotten time capsule
3.- Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei arrives in Germany, says Britain restricted his visa
4.- 'Feeding the Empire: Tales of food from Rome and Pompei' on view at Ara Pacis Museum
5.- Exhibition celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland
6.- British actress and singer Jane Birkin asks Hermes to take name off crocodile handbag
7.- Smithsonian Institution reveals identities of four lost leaders of Jamestown
8.- Rare medieval panel purchased by the National Gallery thanks to Ronald S Lauder
9.- Teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth in one of the world's most important prehistoric sites
10.- Exhibition presents all 17 works by Hopper in the Carnegie Museum of Art's collection
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|