Math Moves! a traveling interactive exhibit that attempts to take the intimidation out of math, opens Saturday at the Pacific Science Center.
In a mini-movie made by a Pacific Science Center visitor Friday, a green dinosaur lumbered into view from the right, its sights set on a large white goose. But just before the dinosaur could bag his lunch, the goose disappeared, presumably to safety.
If you don’t like that movie, make your own, and then see what happens when you increase or decrease the number of frames shown per second.
The tabletop studio, with colored shapes and plastic animals to be positioned, frame by frame, in front of a camera, is among a couple of dozen interactive features of “Math Moves!,” a traveling exhibit opening at the science center Saturday.
At the Pacific Science Center through May 1. Entry included with admission into the science center: adults $19.75; seniors (65+) $17.75; youth (6-16) $14.75; children (3-5) $11.75.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun-Holidays: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
In other parts of the exhibit, visitors stack wooden blocks to learn about proportions, make intricate displays with colored pens guided by gears, and watch as a lighted chart tracks their own motion and acceleration.
“It’s fun when they don’t know they’re learning,” said Hee Rae Cho, of Ballard, at the center Friday with her son, Ethan Elms, 5, during a preview for museum members and the news media. “He likes things he can play with and touch,” she said as her son turned a crank bringing a wooden figure to life.
Developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota with several other museums and universities, “Math Moves!” is designed to let visitors young and old decide how deeply they want to explore the math principles underpinning each display.
For example, some visitors will take the time to measure and compare the size of shadows they make as they move between a light source and a wall, while others may just zoom back and forth in front of the light, watching their shadows dance.
And that’s just fine, said Will Daugherty, the center’s new president and CEO.
“The primary goal is to help people understand that math is not something to be afraid of,” said Daugherty. It is hoped that letting visitors know that math is at work all around them may help reduce its power to intimidate or alienate.
The emphasis on interactive learning, Daugherty said, is something he would like to see freshen much of what the science center is and does.
Daugherty, who started his job earlier this month, was most recently an “entrepreneur in residence” at the University of Washington, working to help launch new businesses and technologies.
He succeeded interim science center CEO Cory Sbarbaro, who served for 16 months after the retirement of CEO Bryce Seidl.
Entry to “Math Moves!” in Seattle through May 1 is included with the price of admission into the science center.
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