The U.S. Space and Rocket Center has a brand new traveling exhibit called MathAlive! It’s focus is showing the direct connection between math and our physical world in a fun way. I recently took my kids to check it out to see if math could actually be that fun.
IT CAN! Visitors can ride snowboards, program the robotic arm of the International Space Station, design & play their own video games, make a stop-motion video, and even try their hand at systems engineering for a city. There are 40 unique, interactive experiences in a variety of fields.
Everywhere you look, you will see hands-on exhibits that display all the amazing ways math contributes to fun and interesting things. With the quiet atmosphere, and low lighting, it was the perfect environment to ask questions and think through concepts being taught.
MathAlive! Features the World Around Us
The very first thing you see when you walk in is a display showing how math is used in the sport of snowboarding. My kids got to not only design their own snow board, but they also had a blast on an interactive simulator that let them test out balance and apply the concepts they just learned about.
This exhibit is geared towards kids ages 7-14 but The MathAlive! exhibit is especially interactive, and as a mom of five with a wide age range (9-1) that is something that I REALLY appreciate! Even if the younger ones weren’t old enough to understand the concepts, they were still having a lot of fun and engaged in the environment.
The Space & Rocket Center has even put together online resources that kids can enjoy at home even after they leave the exhibit. Teachers & students alike will love these MathAlive! Educational Resources.
Math in Nature & Art
Before we visited, I assumed the majority of the exhibit would be geared towards extreme sports, but I was delighted to see displays showing all aspects of our physical world. Building, body proportions, shadows/light, music, nature and technology were all represented. My kids have a wide range of interests, and there was a little something for everyone.
USSRC Parent Pro-Tips
- Any time we go to the USSRC, I make sure to have the kids go to the bathroom before we start to explore since there isn’t a convenient bathroom spot close to the traveling exhibit area. The exhibits are so cool no one wants to be interrupted with potty breaks!
- If you are a nursing mom, there is a wonderful & comfortable “Milky Way” room if baby gets hungry.
- Make sure to plan some time to visit the Spark!Lab. It is located very close to the Math Alive area and it is STILL one of my favorite educational spots to take the kids.
- Bring a stroller. There is so much to see and little legs get tired after a bit. I also love having a place to put all of the “things” (water bottles, diaper bag, purse and maps) so I can enjoy the exhibits with my kids without juggling all of our stuff.
Get a Membership!
Did you know that if you buy a annual membership it will also get you in to the Nashville Adventure Science Center? Yup! It’s fantastic and completely FREE if you have a membership with the USSRC. The USSRC is a part of the Smithsonian Affiliate program, and there are a LOT of places all across the country that will allow free entry if you have a membership.
MathAlive! at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
You Might Also Like…
- Why Your Kids Will Beg to Go to Spark!Lab
- STEM Resources for Kids
- How Your Kid Can Be a Saturday Scientist!