MOSI aims to make math fun
As our colleague Susan Thurston writes, summertime at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry means algebra, graphs and equations. Fun, exciting stuff. Really.
A new exhibit that opened this week offers a peek into the work of roller coaster designers, video game developers and music producers using math and algebra. The 26 interactive stations let visitors adjust slope, plot coordinates and track speed as part of the creative process.
Entitled Design Zone, it runs through Sept. 5 and it took over the first-level space previously devoted to Bugging Out and costs $3 per person in addition to regular MOSI admission.
It caters to children ages 10 to 14 with an interest in music, art or engineering.
You can catapult balls into targets by calculating the correct angle, match beats like a DJ by adjusting the song speed or pedal the distance in a bike race. Stations break into three categories: engineering and speed; art, architecture and video game design; and music and sound. Each colorful component has lights and sound; a few require teamwork. There's a dance party laser-light show, a drum machine and a beat box. A station that demonstrates mapping skills works like a huge Etch A Sketch. Another about pixels lets users manipulate photos and e-mail them to friends.
"This is getting kids to think differently," said MOSI spokeswoman Adrienne Drew. "They might not actively know they are learning because they are playing a game."
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