The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) will open MathAlive!, an 8,000-square-foot, year-long exhibit that connects math to daily life and potential careers, on June 26.
The exhibit is designed for families and students and brings to life the real math behind what kids love most — video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more — to create interactive, immersive learning experiences. The program is made possible by Ford Motor Co. Fund and Axalta.
“Last summer our team was deeply concerned about the potential negative impact of the pandemic on K-12 learning, particularly in math,” says Christian Greer, president and CEO of MiSci. “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.
“We were determined to do something about it, so we worked for nearly eight months to secure a highly interactive exhibition called MathAlive! Now, with the generous support of the Ford Motor Co. Fund and Axalta, we can put the brakes on the COVID slide by equipping teachers and parents with a new immersive tool to engage young learners in math.”
MathAlive! is designed for students in grades 3-8 and provides interactive experiences like controlling the Curiosity Rover, riding a snowboard, designing a skateboard, engineering a model city, creating a sustainable skyscraper, and striking a pose in a 360-degree freeze-motion photo shoot.
Extreme Weather Alert lets visitors analyze weather data and record their own weather telecast, which they can send to themselves. Cyber Security allows kids to step inside an online computer game where they are challenged to defend against invaders — like computer bugs and viruses — using computer passcodes, multi-factor authentication, and simple code sequences.
“In today’s radically changing economy, math skills are an increasingly critical foundation for building successful 21st-century careers,” says Mike Schmidt, education director, Ford Motor Co. Fund. “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.”
Each area is accompanied by stories and features from professionals and visionaries, highlighting how they apply math in their respective fields every day.
“Axalta is thrilled to partner with MiSci and Ford on this exciting exhibit,” says Dan Naugle, vice president, mobility Americas at Axalta. “With an increasing need for STEM education, the MathAlive! exhibit is a terrific way to make learning math more fun and relevant for children.”
MiSci is hosting a special free evening preview with a laser show for MiSci members on Thursday, June 24, from 5-7:30 p.m. Reservations are encouraged for this event, and tickets are available through the member portal on MiSci’s website.
MathAlive! is a touring national program that premiered at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.