I have to confess that math has never been my thing. While my visit to the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) didn’t quite change my mind, it did make the subject way more fun. Which is the raison d’être for the museum, the only one of its kind in the US.
Across two floors of interactive displays – its great to be in a museum where you’re encouraged to play with the exhibits – children and adults can explore concepts such as velocity, fractions, harmony and geometry. So grab your spouse, buddy, child or colleague for something different!
You’ll find human guides throughout the Museum who can explain how the exhibits work – don’t hesitate to ask them, as sometimes the instructions aren’t that clear – and they can also explain the underlying mathematical principles and their real-life applications: designing buildings, roads, machines, musical instruments…. not to mention medicine, computer science, rocket science… Here are some of my favorites (there are lots more):
By shining light through translucent solids such as cubes and spheres, The Ring of Fire lets you see the many two-dimensional shapes like triangles and circles that are inside them.
The Harmony of the Spheres, based on a 12-tone scale, is designed to let you hear the relationship between math and music; you can generate major or minor chords and harmonies simply by touching different colored spheres.
The Tracks of Galileo let you run “cars” over tracks whose shapes you can change, to see how they affect the speed of the “cars”
I even took the Square-Wheeled Tricycle for a spin, and learned about catenary curves!
They’ll be open until 8:00 this Friday, November 27th – it’ll make for a memorable date-night!
The National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) is located at 11 East 26th Street, and is open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (except the first Wednesday of each month, when it closes early). The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving.
Yes, the gift shop is awesome!