When I was visiting friends in NYC for Halloween weekend I made a trip to the Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath. I went with two former colleagues, a physics teacher and history teacher. We began our visit to the interactive museum on the floor zero, ground floor. There is a stool inside a circle of strings attached to the ceiling. Once you sit down you spin the stool to activate the strings creating a hyperbolid around you.
Then onto the bikes!Inspired first by G. B. Robison in 1960 who came up with the flat tire bike. Macalester College’s Math professor Stan Wagon made a flat tire tricycle to ride on a straight track with a catenaries. MoMath has a similar type of circular track with two sizes of tricycles. Of course I had to try! It is amazingly smooth ride with three different sized tires. Wolfram has a simulator of the different types of tires and planes to use.
We played video game that would graph your velocity and acceleration on the running track. On floor -1 we were greeted by a wall of magnetic tangrams. We made designs and completed Escher like tessellations. There were logic puzzles, an interactive light board to walk on, and spinning tops to sit on. All of the exhibits were not so much about the history of math but the play in math. Two hours flew by! I had a wonderful time, and loved hearing other people in the museum exclaiming “That’s so cool?” If you are in NYC or planning a visit soon, I highly recommend stopping at MoMath.