Math Moves! Seattle’s Newest Exhibit of Epic Proportions


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Wave bye-bye to boring flashcards and worksheets and say hello to the Pacific Science Center’s newest exhibit that puts the “fun” in math fundamentals. At Math Moves!, your sidekick will tackle simple concepts like whole, half and double as he explores this exhibit of epic proportions (and ratios!) using almost all of his senses. Read on to learn our favorite ways to interact with this STEM-themed exhibit.

Scale figures math moves girl buildingphoto: Allison Sutcliffe 

See It!
When you first walk in, your little bears will be greeted by three chairs, perfectly-sized to fit Baby, Mama and Papa bear. But unlike in Goldilocks’ story, curious kiddos don’t test these chairs by sitting in them (although they can if they want to!). Instead they use tape measures, sticks and even squares to compares sizes between the three. What they discover really puts this engaging experiment in perspective!

measuring chair girl math moves

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Just beyond the chairs is a hard-to-miss wall that draws kids in based on its sheer size. Once they hit the floor at the Shadow Fractions, their natural curiosity will lead them to move back and forth, playing shadow games that would get Peter Pan’s approval. Here the Littles can answer questions on the gigantic wall or make up silly experiments of their own, as they move figurines or themselves in an effort to grow, shrink and then compare, their shadowy companions.

shadow wall math movesphoto: Allison Sutcliffe 

Move It!
While all of Math Moves! has a kinesthetic focus, there are standout stations where little mathematicians can get their wiggles out and still work on figuring out fractions. The Partner Motion station in the back is great for families to tackle together. Two players walk back and forth, changing speeds to “draw” graphs and pictures. Although little thinkers might start out running around on this one, they’ll soon figure out that the real challenge is in slowing it down so they can dig deep into how it all works.

partner motion math moves

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Little movers and shakers will couple movement and sound as they walk in circles, squares or triangles to a prerecorded beat at the Motion Math station. Speed is key in this one. Little walkers cut the pace in half or walk double-time as they work through the guided activity. When it’s all said and done, your cutie pie can compare her pace on the video screen. It’s a kid fave because they get to be the star of their own show!

Math Moves Math Motion patterns girl

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Plan to bring your budding artist to the mechanical spirographs set up near the back. Just like their commercial counterparts, little learners can trade out different seized gears on these clunkier contraptions to complete dizzying masterpieces. Four petit Picassos can draw at the same time and there are two different ways to change up the mesmerizing patters they can create.

spirograph math move little girls photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Hear It!
Who knew you could hear mathematical concepts? By comparing frequencies and tones, mini maestros can make math come alive by rotating clicking wheels or moving tones up and down a scale. The clickers in the back at Compare Frequencies have the feel of an old-school turntable. But instead of a needle moving through the grooves, the sound here is more about wheel size than anything. Once your kids have mastered this concept it’s time to hit the soundboard for a little Hi-Fi fun, experimenting with ratios, both high and low. Imagining ratios using your ears puts a whole new spin on a traditional concept!

comparing frequencies math motionphoto: Allison Sutcliffe  

Who to Bring
Although the concepts little mathematicians explore in the exhibit are broken down into easy-to-understand bites, these lessons work best for kiddos ages three and up. But that doesn’t mean little sibs can’t tag along and have an experience all their own. In the exhibit’s center, there’s a comfy seating area where parents can take a load off while the tot lot uses puzzles, cars, stacking cups and even picture books to explore fractions and proportions at their own pace. The best part? From this vantage, parents can keep an eye on their littlest learners, while still being able to see big bro or sis at the other stations. Sit back and relax while they learn!

speed game math moves two kidsphoto: Allison Sutcliffe 

More to See!
Entrance to Math Moves! is included in your museum membership or your daily admission. After you’ve had your fill of facts and figures, be sure to head out to explore your everyday favorites in the main buildings. And in case you were wondering, yes, the Star Wars IMAX showing has been extended (you’re welcome!). And the popular Polar Science weekend is scheduled for March 4-6 this year. Consider this newest exhibit an excuse to explore your favorites at the Seattle Center!

Pacific Science Center
200 Second Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98109

Dates: Through May 1, 2016
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. & holidays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: $11.75/Child (3-5); $14.75/Youth (6-15); $19.75/Adults; Free for members

Do you plan on visiting the new Math Moves! exhibit? Have you already been? Tell us about your experience in the Comments below.

— Allison Sutcliffe

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