Math Gone Mad

The MoMath museum puts a fun spin on learning about math

Jan 14, 2013 | By TFK Kid Reporter Storm Bookhard

TFK Kid Reporter Storm Bookhard gets a firsthand look at the new MoMath museum in New York City. 

A door handle shaped like the symbol Pi opens a new world of numbers, shapes and colors in New York City. The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) is America’s first math museum. It provides a unique and interactive experience that makes math exciting. “We want to give people fun and hands-on ways to learn math concepts,” MoMath founder and mathematician Glen Whitney told TFK.  The museum’s mission? Develop stronger future mathematicians across the nation.

The MoMath museum opened in New York City on December 15, 2012.
The MoMath museum opened in New York City on December 15, 2012.

Exploring Math

Throughout the museum, visitors take part in various games and programs. The museum hopes that by having guests participate in the exhibits, they will better understand mathematical concepts. An example of this hands-on method of learning is a ride called The Coaster Roller. Visitors glide in a rounded triangle cart across an acorn-shaped track that miraculously creates a smooth surface. “The triangular balls [on the cart] have a constant diameter that are even on all sides that simulate a smooth feel,” MoMath Associate Director Cindy Lawrence explained to TFK.

The Marble Multiplier, 3D Printer, and the Enigma Café are among other user-friendly play zones where math theories are applied and challenged. In the exhibit Rhythms of Life, guests fill a circle with fractions that add up to 1. Each fraction represents a different sound and rhythm. When combined in a single circle, visitors learn how rhythms combine to form complex patterns of sound.  Each of these exhibits brings math concepts to life and sparks curiosity for visitors of all ages.

The MoMath museum is a place where everyone can connect by learning sophisticated math concepts. Even students who live far from New York City can be part of the fun. MoMath has a traveling museum called the Math Midway, which tours around the country to schools and community centers. Click here to see if a Math Midway exhibit will be coming to a community near you.