MathHappens @ The Eclipse

Lauren SiegelCommunity Partnerships, Events, History Connections, Intern Experience, Nature & Science Center, We think math is fun!Leave a Comment

written by Matt Hertel.

On Saturday April 6th and Sunday April 7th the Austin Nature and Science Center hosted NASA Scientists who gave talks on exoplanets, eclipses and oceans on other planets, and the latest news from the Mars Rover. NASA volunteers also assisted visitors in making special eclipse glasses and pinhole cameras. 

The Math Room took place in a new outdoor location for the occasion, featuring eclipse simulators (designed by UTeach intern TaranKumar), an eclipse puzzle (designed by St. Edwards intern Tommy Linn), total eclipse necklaces (designed by Jordan Varat), an Ozobot (click link to see it go) for demonstrating the path of our moon’s orbit, as well as classic puzzles, models, and optical illusions that can be found every weekend in the Math Room at ANSC.

Taran (left) holding his eclipse simulator that uses the size ratio between the Sun and the Moon and the ratio of distances from Earth to the Sun and from Earth to the Moon to explain the phenomenon of a total solar eclipse. This idea was then turned into a more compact, portable model using calipers that maintain a constant distance ratio among the three objects so that regardless of the total distance, the “moon” just covers the “sun”.

Visitors were able to explore the underlying mathematics of the 2024 total eclipse, and had the chance to make and take a limited edition total eclipse necklace.  Visitors also enjoyed Puzzle-a-Day, Square Mutation and some lovely weather.

Working at this event:   Ella Basken, Tommy Linn, Stefany Espinoza, Julie Wu




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