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MathAlive! - Where Mathematics Meets Imagination

Mar 12, 2024 10:40AM ● By Elise Spleiss, photo by Elise Spleiss
Math meets melody in this Math Alive! Exhibit where robotics and instruments unite to compose a symphony of STEM harmony.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - “2THEXTREME! MathAlive!,” the newest exhibit at the Aerospace Museum of California at McClellan Park, has 40 unique interactive exhibits to inspire students and their families to discover the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The exhibit runs through May 31. Museum hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

In a world where mathematics is often relegated to the realm of classroom tedium, the MathAlive! exhibition emerges as a vibrant testament to the beauty ever present and the sheer fun of math. This large-scale, interactive showcase is a journey through the mathematical bedrock of our everyday lives, designed to captivate families and students alike. With an emphasis on engagement and hands-on learning, MathAlive! proves that math is not just about numbers and equations—it's a key to unlocking a world of possibilities.

Math is everywhere. From the way we play to the technology we use, math serves as a foundational building block, shaping our experiences and innovations. The exhibit highlights this concept, ensuring visitors leave with a newfound appreciation for the math that surrounds us, often hidden in plain sight.

By discovering math in unexpected places, the exhibit ventures into the realms of sports, music, fashion and entertainment, revealing the surprising ways in which mathematical principles are essential to creativity and artistry. At the heart of MathAlive! are its interactive exhibits.

Extreme Sports: Visitors can design and test virtual snowboards, exploring the geometry that influences their performance, or experience the thrill of a snowboarding simulator, embodying the physics of snow sports.

Fashion and Design: Here, the fusion of geometry and creativity takes center stage. Participants can play with geometric patterns, delve into fabric design and see their ideas come to life in 3D garment models.

The Science Behind Video Games: Offering insights into the mathematical backbone of game design, this area allows attendees to peek behind the curtain of video game programming and coding, offering the chance to create a simple video game.

Robotics: By programming miniature Mars rovers, visitors engage directly with principles of navigation and engineering, confronting the complexities of robotic exploration.

The Mathematics of Architecture: This exhibit sheds light on the math behind iconic skyscrapers and gives visitors the opportunity to design their architectural marvels applying mathematical principles.

MathAlive!'s overarching mission is multifaceted: spark a lifelong interest in math, build confidence in math's accessibility, promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers, and revolutionize how visitors perceive mathematics. By transforming math from a dreaded school subject into a fascinating tool for exploration and innovation, MathAlive! aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. 

MathAlive! places a spotlight on a profound truth: mathematics permeates every facet of our lives. Whether in our leisure activities or the technology that powers our world, mathematics acts as an essential cornerstone, molding our experiences and driving innovation. The exhibition adeptly showcases this concept, ensuring visitors depart with an enhanced appreciation for the mathematics that envelops us, often concealed within the mundane.

So, whether you're a devout mathematician, an inquisitive learner or someone who always kept math at arm's length, MathAlive! invites you on an adventure that promises to alter your perception of mathematics forever.

The Aerospace Museum of California is at 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan. For ticket prices, tours, education department and other information call 916-643-3192.

The Aerospace Museum of California is a Smithsonian Affiliate.