Open Today: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Theater Open Today: 12:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Flex Your Math Muscles


Immerse yourself in a world of shadows, shapes, motion and sound! Bigger/smaller, faster/slower, heavier/lighter - use your body to explore ratios in the science center's newest traveling exhibit: Math Moves!

Math Moves! is available to all Imagination Station visitors at no extra charge!

What is Math Moves?

Math Moves uses a variety of hands-on activities to make experimenting with concepts at the heart of math memorable and fun. It encourages visitors to use their minds, their bodies and their imaginations to investigate basic math ideas and find their meaning and relevance. It also draws upon the power of teamwork, using partner activity and conversation to advance mathematical understanding.

Explore a Variety of Math Concepts

Partner Motion: Grab a partner and see how your rates of motion look as graphs on a screen. As you walk back and forth, you'll create graphs of motions, and as you modify your speed, watch how the graph data changes. The graphs display movement over time, giving direct proportional slopes, another way to think about how rates compare.

Sensing Ratios: Use knobs to experiment with tone generators. The positions of the knobs are graphed on the screen, with the left knob on the y-axis and the right knob on the x-axis.  Try the exhibit with your eyes closed – for instance, make a stair-step pattern by adjusting the tones first to come into unison and then moving one of the knobs up until the tones are an octave apart. 

Comparing Forms: Explore proportion with three chairs that are identical in every aspect except proportional scale. One chair is full scale (X), the other chairs are 1/2X, and 2X.  Use your body and other measuring tools to investigate how the chairs differ in size. It’s a very tangible way to gain experience with the geometric concept of similarity and begin to understand proportional relationships between different-sized objects.

Comparing Frequencies: Create rhythmic percussive sounds using one or more small wheels driven by a larger wheel. The small wheels have clickers that sound with each turn. The frequency of the clicks depends on the diameter of the small wheel, as well as where it contacts the large turning wheel. Experiment with several wheels to compare frequencies of the clicks, both seeing and hearing the rhythm of proportions and frequency of clicking. 

Shadow Fractions: Tell a shadow story with scaled objects. A bright light will cast shadows of the objects on a grid. Move the objects, which are identical except for their sizes - 2”, 4”, and 8” high.  As they increase or reduce the size of the objects’ shadows, they’ll directly experience physical science.

Experiencing active, hands-on engagement in math is essential.

Science centers are known for promoting that in science, but math can also involve active questioning, constructing, manipulation of objects and experimenting. Try multisensory active math in Math Moves! Engage your students in curriculum-related, exhibit-based learning, integrating the motivation and energy of free-choice investigation and the fun of discovery.

Math Moves educators guide

Math Moves! is supported by the PNC Grow Up Great Foundation.

A special thank you to our Exhibit Ambassadors:

  • The Collaborative
  • Bowser-Morner
  • Canaan Companies