Sneak Peek Inside Nation's Only Math Museum

By Nikhita Venugopal on December 13, 2012 6:49pm 

MANHATTAN — Here's a museum that's daring to do what some kids think is impossible: Make math fun. 

The national Museum of Mathematics, MoMath, will open on Saturday with more than 30 interactive exhibits showcasing different mathematical concepts, each featuring a digital kiosk allowing visitors to learn even more.

"Math is all around us. It's everywhere we look," said Glen Whitney, founder and executive director of the museum.

Hands-on exhibits at the 19,000-square-foot museum include "Spheres of Harmony," a collection of spheres that light up while emitting different musical chords, showing the mathematical relationship between the sounds.

There's also the "Coaster Rollers" exhibit, which lets visitors glide down a track of lumpy shapes to learn why the ride is so smooth. And the "Enigma Cafe," filled with tables of interactive math puzzles, doesn't serve food — it tries to "nourish the mind," Whitney said. 

While the museum's directors hope to draw an audience both young and old, Whitney said he expects class groups to form the bulk of the visitors. 

The museum's biggest goal is "trying to change people's perspective about mathematics," said Cindy Lawrence, associate director and chief of operations.

MoMath, 11 E. 26th St. across from Madison Square Park, will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Starting Dec. 17, the museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Tickets for opening weekend at the museum can be purchased online. Adult tickets cost $15; children's tickets are $9.

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