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Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus
Experiencing Mathematics through Sight, Sound, Touch and Movement

Mathworks topics

Details | By set

There are three different exhibitions in use: red, green and blue. Topics included in each set are indicated by coloured blocks. The blue set contains a very large number of small items, the red a small number of big ones. The blue set requires table space, the red not. The blue set takes 6 hours to set out, the red 2 hours. The blue set is suitable for long events in closed venues, the red set for short events in open spaces.

Times square red set, green set, blue set
Through solid graphs, the mathematical balance and a variety of custom-built models the children explore the ‘familiar’ multiplication tables.

Zoom green set, blue set
When length grows, how does area grow? – how do volume and mass grow? The interactives offer a dynamic and sensorily-rich experience of scaling.

Slices and solids blue set
Here we study 3-D shapes through their 2-D sections. The ‘solids’ are ‘sliced’ with water, light and fitting collars, or taken to pieces and rebuilt.

Left and right red set, green set, blue set
This section deals with mirror symmetry – or the lack of it – as we find it in ourselves, our clothes, on our roads, in molecules, crystals and innumerable other settings.

All sorts blue set
We experience different ways of sorting and representing data, moving between table models and whole-body exercises.

Packing shapes green set, blue set
Floor tiles, sugar cubes, bubbles, atoms, … How do these all pack?

Transformations red set, green set, blue set
What happens to a shape when it is pushed? turned? flipped? zoomed? sheared? … ? The most everyday examples are also the most surprising.

Angle blue set
Angle is dimensionless, the most abstract of all measures. Embodied in real turns and real shapes, it is here made concrete.

L.C.M.s red set, green set, blue set
You take 3 paces, play 3 notes, lay 3 bricks to every 4 of mine: in length and time we move in and out of phase. Here we manipulate half a dozen embodiments of the concept.

Dissections red set, green set, blue set
Take the shape to bits. You’ll have to compare lengths and angles carefully if you’re to “put Humpty …” (the square, the ocatgon, the tetrahedron, the cube, … ) “… together again”.

2-D to 3-D blue set
Anaglyphs, stereo pairs, holograms, trompe l’oeil pictures, … There are many ways of simulating 3 dimensions in 2.

Pascal’s Triangle blue set
The successive orders of triangle numbers, the binomial coefficients, the Fibonaci sequence: how are they all related? Playing with models here, you will get the feel – first literally, then metaphorically – of mathematics as a whole.

Loci and linkages green set, blue set
The foot of the ladder slips across the pavement, the top slips down the wall. What does the middle do? When motions are combined, the result can be hard to predict.

Pythagoras’ Theorem blue set
Proofs are modelled, special cases manipulated – algebraically and physically – and the converse applied.

Symmetry red set, green set, blue set
We study reflections and rotations, make and test designs using them, then see how many ways we can fit oblongs into oblong holes, squares into square holes, cuboids into cuboidal holes and cubes into cubic holes …

Weigh-In red set, green set, blue set
Formerly under the Challenges topic but now a sequence in its own right, this includes a number of exercises for both the 2-pan and mathematical balances.

Challenges red set, green set, blue set
We should learn ‘heuristic’, the art of solving problems, in every lesson we take at school. If the Pascal’s Triangle topic conveys what mathematics is, the Challenges topic examines how we do it.

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