Michigan Science Center to Welcome Traveling Interactive Math Exhibit

‘MathAlive!’ will be at the museum for an entire year
Kids can learn about math while riding a stationary snowboard at the Michigan Science Center’s new exhibit. // Photograph courtesy of MathAlive!

Math is everywhere and a part of everything. Local kids will get the chance to learn all about this when the Michigan Science Center opens MathAlive! on June 26. The year-long touring exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to dive into the mathematics that goes into video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more through immersive learning experiences.

The 8,000-square-foot exhibit — developed by groups including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NASA, and the National Society of Professional Engineers — features seven interactive experiences. Among the attractions is the opportunity to ride a stationary snowboard, design a skateboard, engineer a model city, and create a sustainable skyscraper. Each area is accompanied by story and video features from professionals highlighting how they apply different math concept in their respective fields.

“In today’s radically changing economy, math skills are an increasingly critical foundation for building 21st century careers,” says Mike Schmidt, education director for Ford Motor Co. Fund, in a press release — the philanthropic arm of Ford is one of the sponsors for the exhibit. “The MathAlive! exhibit does a wonderful job presenting the subject and it hopefully will inspire students to find a new or renewed interest in math.”

MathAlive! also features an activity where visitors can build a skateboard. // Photograph courtesy of MathAlive!

According to Michigan Science Center President and CEO Christian Greer, last summer, the team at the museum was concerned about the negative effects the pandemic could have on K-12 students learning. In part, this inspired them to bring MathAlive! to Detroit.

“We felt that this effect, now known as the COVID slide, could derail thousands of students, particularly those that were already performing below grade level,”  says Greer in a press release. “We were determined to do something about it, so we worked for nearly eight months to secure a highly interactive exhibition called MathAlive!..”

The museum will hold a preview of the event for Michigan Science Center members on June 24. Guests in attendance will also get to view a laser show. Pre-registration through the museum’s website is suggested. General access to MathAlive! is included in the museum’s admission prices.

For more information, visit mi-sci.org