Maths Craft were invited to “make maths fun” at the Space & Science Festival 2017, held on 13 May at Onslow College, Wellington. The Space & Science Festival is an annual celebration of science at which thousands of visitors enjoy a wide range of science activities and talks. Maths Craft set up five stations, two display tables, and a number of work tables in the roomy student centre at Onslow College. Our Möbius station invited people to explore the surprising mathematics of Möbius bands, by twisting, drawing, and cutting. At the string art station, guests could create curves from straight lines with string or drawing on our templates. The mathematical colouring station was popular with young and old alike, as was the Menger station, at which visitors could construct a fractal structure from folded business cards. Most popular of all was our origami station, where people could learn how to fold simple Sonobe units and combine them into geometric objects. You can find the resources from our stations here.
The Maths Craft room was buzzing all day long, with over 450 of the 2,000 Festival visitors enjoying our hands on stations, guided by our passionate volunteers, and spending time at our work tables exploring maths by working through our handouts. We had some amazing feedback on the day, with children asking their parents if they could stay longer, grown-ups being surprised at how much maths they already knew through their crafts, and the really pleasing sight of young and old working together to explore concepts with their hands and minds. We were even visited by an astronaut and a senior NASA scientist, who were both excited about our displays and the work we do. The organisers of the Space & Science Festival emailed us afterwards to say “We LOVED having Maths Craft at the Space & Science Festival this year, thank you all so much! Great visitor feedback starting to come in from survey too - everyone wants you back next year.” It was great to bring Maths Craft to Wellington, and we hope to do so again.
About the Space & Science Festival
As well as Maths Craft, the Space & Science Festival featured flying machines, engineering with robots & electronics, coding, science talks, and fun with physics, chemistry, & biological sciences. Plus there was a chance to meet special guests from NASA!
The Space & Science Festival is an event run by the Space & Science Festival Society, a not-for-profit organisation formed entirely by volunteers who are passionate about inspiring the next generation of amazing people growing up in New Zealand. They aim to give children of all ages and their families amazing experiences to inspire them to follow their interests in space, astronomy, astrophotography, science, technology, engineering, and maths at a festival run each year. Any profits above and beyond what are needed to run the festival are invested in supporting educational needs in these subjects.