MoMath = MoLearning

What the Museum of Math Can Teach Us About the Live Experience  by Lindsay of @karmeck360

 The Museum of Mathematics, North America’s first museum devoted to mathematics opened in December at the top of Madison Square Park (the patch of green to the west of Shake Shack, to the east of Eataly).  MoMath, as it has been christened, is attracting attention for its unique spin on subject matter not known for glitzy presentation.

At MoMath, complex principles of geometry are not scratched onto chalkboards or muttered incoherently by foreign teaching assistants, but rather presented as a vibrant, hands-on experience. Almost every exhibit can be manipulated, mounted, and made to come alive in some manner.

At the entryway, visitors are confronted with a square-wheeled tricycle on a curved track.  The square wheels produce a surprisingly smooth ride, introducing the concept of a special curve, the inverted catenary.
 
But even if you don’t understand the math behind the odd looking trike, you can still have a good time.  Assuming you can combat the strollered set on a Sunday afternoon, you can make MoMath your playground — interacting with illuminated floor panels reminiscent of Dance Dance Revolution (“the Math Square”), cameras projecting your likeness as a tree sprouting branches of mini-mes (“Human Tree”), and a cylinder constructed of plastic tubes with a seat inside (“Hyper Hyperboloid”).

We theatre makers, concert producers, and live event creators have a lot to learn from the math geek curators behind MoMath.  You don’t need to be a genius to identify the successful formula.

Audiences want engagement.  

They want to be spoken to like adults.  But want to play like children.

They have short attention spans.  Meaning ideas must be communicated quickly and cohesively.

They want an experience.

It is our responsibility to meet and exceed their expectations so they will return to our museum, our venue, our Facebook fan page, and our shows.

If mathematics needed a brand refresh, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to brush up yours?

 karmeck360  from the mindPhones of Morgan Karr & Lindsay Meck 
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