Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hall Of Science

My poor planning (not knowing that streets and avenues after numbers makes a difference in an address) left us at odds as to how to spend the day. On a whim, we paid a visit to Flushing's Hall of Science. It has been many years since we have been to this wonderful place and had no idea as to its growth. The kid in us came out as we played with all the interactive exhibits and explored some of the wonders of science.

Some of the exhibits were the same ones I remembered from the past but many were brand new to me. Of course, my favorites, pictured above, were mathematics. Years ago, this part of the exhibit did not exist. I may have to break down and take a class trip here. The things I saw were just too good not to share.

My favorite exhibit wasn't in the mathematics part, but in a part of the Hall and it was all about networks. I taught a course in the community college on networks and it was really cool seeing all the applications, including ant farms, dance floors and phone connections. It would be nice to share real life math with my students.

Calculus --This is an example of the model Archimedes used over 200 years ago to show that the volume of a cylinder is equal to the volume of a sphere and a cone. He did it by using slices, one of the ways we find volume in calculus.

We spend lots of time on minimum and maximum problems.

This one you have to see to appreciate.

A great example as to why every operation is not commutative.

The Mobius strip--not only explained, but with a little train running around to illustrate exactly what it is.

This one I really loved. Balls fell randomly and as you watched, the normal distribution really appeared. Unfortunately, I did not make it in one spot until it finished.


mathmom said...

Interesting, I've seen some of those exhibits before even though I've never been to Flushing's Hall of Science. I think either in the Museum of Science in Boston, or the Ontario Science Center in Toronto.

mathman42 said...

I just found out that a Math museum is in the planning stage. It should begin at The Hall of Science in a few months. Maybe these exhibits are a precursor. I'll try to get there before school starts.