## Planning for Math at the Ohio State Fair

Every year at Math On-A-Stick, we get questions about whether similar events exist at other state fairs, and about what is required to bring this kind of educational play to other fairs. As far as we know, the Minnesota State Fair is the only state fair with a large-scale playful family math event. We have dreamed of supporting others in

## Flint Hills Family Festival 2024

MathHappens participated in the Flint Hills Family Festival this year. This is a free annual arts festival produced by The Ordway, an arts and performance center in downtown Saint Paul, MN. We brought mostly the same materials as we did to Kickoff to Summer the previous weekend, including sphere stacking, the 3D Shape Museum, and a table full of puzzles.

## Kickoff to Summer in Minnesota

The Minnesota State Fair puts on an event to celebrate the beginning of summer (Kickoff to Summer) each Memorial Day weekend, and for the first time this year, MathHappens was on the scene. We brought Geometiles and an instant camera in order to build a 3D Shape Museum. We brought multi-colored spheres and frames for building pyramids and other shapes.

## Family Math Expo

We were invited to the Washington, D.C. Family Math Expo earlier this month. While we can’t travel everywhere and attend every math event (although we do admit that would be a ton of fun!), this seemed like a great opportunity to… Support some excellent work going on in a large and important school district, Play math with a large number

## A Circle Toy

Here’s a fun little toy. It’s useful for building an argument about the area of a circle. Let’s say you know that π (pi) is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Then, because the diameter is twice the radius, you know the circumference is 2π r. Usually this argument proceeds by drawing pictures. It turns

## Playing Math at the NCTM Regional in Seattle

We were invited, along with the Seattle Universal Math Museum (SUMM) to host a play space at NCTM’s Regional Conference in Seattle that took place earlier this month. The whole team organized materials, and then Matt Hertel and I met in Seattle ready to play math! Due to the nature of the space, and fire codes and whatnot, we had

## Curve Stitching Parabolas

Does this method of curve stitching make a parabola, or just something that looks kind of parabola-ish? Geometrically, a parabola is the set of points in the plane that are equidistant from a point (the focus) and a line (the directrix). The parabola whose focus is the point (0,1), and whose directrix is y= -1 is algebraically defined as y=¼

Here’s the rap. Me: Can we do a little math together? You: Sure! Me: Here’s a triangle, right? You: Yes. Me: OK. You hold these pieces; I’m gonna swap these, and your job is to fill in the empty space to make the same triangle a different way. … Eventually (anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes later) Us: Oh