Austin Toy Museum Grand Opening

Christopher DanielsonEventsLeave a Comment

What we learned: The Austin Toy Museum is a new museum featuring a collection of action figures, toys and arcade games primarily from the mid 1980s and 1990s. The founders were interested in attracting families and school groups and hope to be a destination for kids of all ages. UTeach intern Michelle Tat spent several hours touring the museum while under construction. After some consideration of the various collections and their potential for math connections, she decided to focus on the Smurf collection. She reviewed several hours of Smurf cartoons and developed a menu of math programming relating to the Smurf world and storylines.

MathHappens: For the opening we focused on Papa Smurfs potions and on Jokey Smurf’s gift giving. We were able to relate the potions to a classic problem involving liquids transferred from one container to the other sometimes called the “Milk and Tea” puzzle. Since Jokey Smurf gives gifts which might be flowers, a cake, or a dust bomb we were able to reframe this as a “choice problem. The classic Monty Hall problem involves 3 curtains and fit perfectly with the three gifts. We made demonstration models of the problems out of wood at the MakeATX laser Coop, and had a lot of fun wearing Smurf hats while staffing the opening.

Two people in Smurf hats explain some math to a child, while toys—both mathy and not—rest on a table between them.

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