Spring Exhibit

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Hone your math skills in our all-new spring exhibit Math Moves! Feb. 25 – May 14. This local presentation is presented by the City of Webster.

Created by the Science Museum of Minnesota this rich and engaging exhibit presents more than 20 interactive activities where visitors playfully investigate ratios and proportions. Enacting math can be a powerful tool for exploration and understanding. Math Moves! is an immersive environment in which visitors use their entire body to explore math.

In collaboration with Explora, Museum of Life & Science, and the Museum of Science, the exhibit encourages a collaborative approach to solving problems. Open-ended activities provide opportunities for visitors to talk about solutions to the challenges in the exhibit’s activities.

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Math Moves! exhibit experiences


Draw harmonic patterns using proportion wheels on a mechanical drawing table. Select and swap several interchangeable gears on the table to create a pattern. The drawn patterns repeat after a fixed number of rotations of the platen, and the patterns are determined by the ratio of the gears used at a particular time. Produce complex circular drawing on paper to take home or post in the exhibit.

Hang weights on three types of balances to discover proportions of distance and weights. The three types of scales include a traditional math education balance, a balance with a circular scale and a multi-armed balance with a high degree of complexity and open-endedness.

Use the body and other measuring tools to investigate scale in this truly physical experience. Sit in three chairs that are identical in every aspect except proportional scale. Explore the proportionality and discover the scale of the chairs. Gain experience with scale models and geometric concepts of similarity and begin to understand proportional relationships between different-sized objects.

Create rhythmic percussive sounds using one or more small wheels driven by a large wheel. Each of the small wheels has a clicker that sounds each time the small disk makes a complete rotation. The frequency of the clicks depends on the diameter of the small wheel and on where the wheel contacts the large turning wheel. Experiment with several wheels to compare frequencies of the clicks.

Experiment with the placement of scaled objects to make shadow stories or scenes. A bright-white LED casts shadows of the objects on grid lines numbered at the sides and along the top. Each object is copied at three proportional heights. By moving these objects and increasing or reducing their sizes, visitors are directly experiencing physical science.

Explore ratios by hearing and seeing tones or sounds. Move red knobs at the left and right to control tone generators. The position of the knobs are graphed on the screen, the left knob on the y-axis and the right knob on the x-axis. A phone at the left also supplies an audio description. Test your ratio sense by attempting the challenge with your eyes closed. Make a stair-step pattern by adjusting the tones first to come into unison and then moving one of the knobs up until the tones are an octave apart.

See how rate of motion affects a graph on a screen. Walk back and forth at varying speeds to create graphs of your motions. Work with a partner to create a number of different graph shapes. The graphs on screen and on paper display movement over time, giving direct proportional slopes — another way to think about and feel how movement rates compare.

Enlarge simple objects by doubling all three dimensions. This challenging activity extends the study of scaling, similarity and proportionality

Get moving this spring and explore our all-new exhibit Math Moves!

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Click here to download the Math Moves! educator guide.