Friday, January 31, 2014

Mirrors at DCM: Math Connections

Mirrors and math concepts are brought together in a unique way in DuPage Children's Museum’s Math Connections Neighborhood. Our Crawl Through Kaleidoscope and Cornering Reflections exhibits engage children in math learning in a playful and creative way!
Crawl Through Kaleidoscope
In our Crawl Through Kaleidoscope, geometry is explored through multiplying patterns and symmetry. As children moves through the prism tunnel, they see multiple images of themselves. Often, children stop right in the middle with a look of fascination. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage the child in ‘math talk.’ How many of you do you see? What happens if you move your arm up? Down? What colors and shapes do you notice?

To extend the learning (and create a lasting memory), you might talk about this experience when peering through a smaller kaleidoscope at home.

Cornering Reflections
Here we observe children and their caregivers creating patterns with two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric shapes. Visitors often stack the shapes and interact with the multiple reflections they create by moving the mirrors back and forth.  Creating these patterns is an early introduction to algebra concepts! Children even explore geometry with the shapes used to create those patterns! Symmetry concepts are investigated as the mirrors are moved back and forth. 

When exploring with mirrors and reflection, we truly see how math is all around us! The math all around us is explored in our Creativity Classes. Mini-Mathematicians (for children 15-24 months) takes place on February 6, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Register here or browse through the many classes we offer for all age groups.

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