MathHappens @ LBJ Wildflower Center Nature Nights

Lauren SiegelCommunity, Nature & Science Center, Partner Spotlight, Take and Make, We think math is fun!Leave a Comment

Nature Nights are a series of family nights at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Admission is free and the center is open from 6-9pm.  Families are invited to stroll the grounds, enjoy the courtyard activities and enjoy a taco or ice cream.  And they can do some mathematical puzzles!  Our take and make craft was a reversible flower. Lauren

A Circle Toy

Christopher DanielsonWe think math is fun!Leave a Comment

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

MathHappens @ 2024 SXSWEdu!

Lauren SiegelWe think math is fun!Leave a Comment

MathHappens @ SXSW Edu was an opportunity to bring our approach to math enrichment to a world audience.  We kicked off the booth with our senior team members:  Matt Hertel, Lauren Siegel, Jordan Varat, Melissa Wilkinson and Christopher Danielson who came down to Austin from St. Paul, MN.  It was a great way for us to spend some time together

Feb 24th: MathHappens’ Big Busy Weekend!

Lauren SiegelWe think math is fun!Leave a Comment

On February 24th MathHappens’ four locations were open to the public in Autin, TX at the Nature and Science Center, and Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, in Mankato, MN at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and in Albuquerque, NM at Explora!  Matt Hertel manages the space at the Nature and Science Center and Millennium and paused a moment to record

Playing Math at the NCTM Regional in Seattle

Christopher DanielsonEvents, We think math is fun!Leave a Comment

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

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Two wooden arms with regularly spaced holes are attached at one end with a bolt and wingnut. The arms are at approximately a 90° angle to each other. Threads are methodically stitched through the holes: the first hole on one arm to the last hole on the other, then the second-to-last hole to the second hole, etc.

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

Curry Triangle Paradox

Christopher DanielsonWe think math is fun!Leave a Comment

Five parts for a curry triangle lie slightly separated in order to make clear the decomposition. There is a 4-by- right triangle, a 9-by-7 right triangle, a 4-by-3 rectangle, a figure made of rows of 4, 3, and 2, and another of rows 1, 2, and 3.

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

Joint Mathematics Meeting 2024

Lauren SiegelWe think math is fun!Leave a Comment

Christopher Danielson and I headed to SF to help represent Math Communities in the American Institute of Mathematics booth.  We had a great time! We gave away hundreds of Curry Triangle Paradoxes, had dozens of conversations about remote internships and programs and shared some of our favorite models and then gave them away in a raffle.  Here are some of