An Interactive Cross Disciplinary Mathematics Museum for Austin!

Lauren SiegelCommunity Partnerships, Museum, Teacher Support & Training, Ways to like math, We think math is fun!3 Comments

Let’s continue the tradition of service to education, support our students and learners of all ages in mathematics by offering  free learning resources to the Austin community, support cross disciplinary programs, create and use hands on interactive models. A great opportunity is on the table.

The Pease School opened in 1876 and served Austin as an elementary school for 144 years until 2020.  It is now under consideration for repurposing and it must serve an educational purpose that is “interactive, in whole or in part with teachers and students, has a permanent use that has a programmatic connection to District educational policies and that is educational in nature”.  Learn about the repurposing proposal here.

You can attend a virtual community meeting hosted by Austin ISD to give your perspective:

This historic building and grounds are located at 12th and West convenient to Central Austin, East Austin and adjacent to the Capitol and museum district.  It is across the street from ACC’s downtown campus and convenient (within a 2 mile radius) to UT, Huston-Tillotson University and is accessible by public transportation.

It would make a wonderful interactive Mathematics Museum that could offer family programs, field trips, teacher workshops, adult and senior programming as well as interactive galleries with mathematical models, exhibits, displays and most important, activities.  Other resources housed there could include mathematical artifacts, connections to Texas history and land survey, a crafting space and a fully functioning Make Shop that could design and build models exhibits and displays for distribution to libraries, schools and learning centers all over Texas.  MathHappens Foundation has been creating activities, models, field trips, and more for eight years and we have programs and ideas, models, exhibits and library resources that can offer programming as soon as the facility is ready for occupancy.  We are an approved and registered by the State Board of Education and Texas Education Agency to provide continuing professional education credits to teachers via our workshops and we are an active participant in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics through conferences and we have partnered with AISD, Austin Homeschoolers, private schools, and a variety public educational institutions.  Trena Wilkerson, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics advocates in March 2022 for Bringing Joy to Teaching and Learning Mathematics and we could not agree more.

MathHappens Foundation can offer $1 Million to ensure that programs can start as soon as the facility is ready for occupancy.

We have worked with many mathematics educators over the past eight years.  Mathematics Professor Jennifer Austin of University of Texas at Austin has been a supporter, collaborator and inspiration for MathHappens.  Here is her note of support for a Math Museum for Central Texas.

A letter from Ms. Mardi, math teacher at Austin High.     We have enjoyed working with her and her students on a variety of projects most notably pioneering the math field trip at the Ransom Center, Texas State History Museum and the Austin Nature and Science Center.

From Eileen Slaton, Course Instructor at Huston-Tillotson University

I love this idea of repurposing the old campus into an interactive math museum. I am in complete support. Please consider me as a representative of Huston Tillotson University and a partnership with the university. I can offer my services as well as the connection with the history course that I have started. This would be a great way for students to contribute and partner with the community.  Again, I am in complete support of the project. Please let me know what you need from me going forward.  I will share this with the HTU mathematics department as well.

Here is one concept of a functional makerspace that is also a learning lab that we asked Kim Brown Creative to design in November of 2020.  This or something like it could be a part of the Pease Math Center.

Our teacher workshops have included maker skills like learning to make models on a laser cutter since 2018.

Cross disciplinary programs show how mathematical constructs can make laboratory tests more efficient.  These middle schoolers are learning about the mathematics of pooled testing.

Themed Backpacks provided to the Buda Public Library

3 Comments on “An Interactive Cross Disciplinary Mathematics Museum for Austin!”

  1. Sounds wonderful! I remember how heartbroken Pease kids, teachers, and parents were when it closed. It was a truly special place. It would be only right to give it new life as our very own Math Museum .

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