2016 Math Fair

math-fairDate: 11/5/2016, Saturday

Time: 10am – 6pm

Location: OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Website: http://mindresearch.org/mathfair/


Free Family Event, Fun for All Ages!

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The Math Fair is a free, family-fun event that excites young minds as they interact with mathematically challenging activities, games and performances. Math is inherently exciting as it helps us make sense of the world around us. The Math Fair is designed to showcase the beauty of math and make it accessible to children and families.

Math Fair visitors experience math as they never have before. Visitors may find themselves inside a life-size version of an educational video game, or transported to ancient Africa by playing the first known math games. The Math Fair is for everyone, regardless of age, to enjoy. And families build not just memories but an excitement for problem solving.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

South of the Sahara (Grade 2 – Adult)

Transport yourself across time and space to Africa, South of the Sahara, to experience the origins of mathematics. Revisit history and find out how math was a strong fabric of everyday life. Try your hand at centuries-old games that challenge your memory and reasoning skills!

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Blockopolis (PreK – Grade 8)

Exercise your 2D and 3D perceptions by manipulating oversized, architectural foam blocks. Experiment with how shapes fit together by creating complex structures. See geometric forms come to life as you collaborate to build your creations.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Ice Caves (all ages)

Play in an immersive virtual environment where you’ll experiment with lines of symmetry to solve complex puzzles. The arcade-style interaction allows for a multi-player experience and gives the feeling of being “inside the game.”

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Conic Connections (Grade 3 – 12)

Experience critical thinking with hands-on, 3D-printed manipulatives. Deconstruct complex puzzles by making connections between seemingly unrelated tools. Discover the difference between hyperbolas and parabolas within a life-size map of conic connections.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Formula DRT (Grade 3 – 12)

Operate robotic controls to solve a visual representation of the traditional math word problem: “if train A is going x fast, and train B is going y fast…” Activate your innate spatial-temporal reasoning (visual problem solving) ability and test out your solutions in real-time.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Game-a-thon (K – Grade 12)

Design and create your own math game with the support of expert game designers. Push the boundaries of game design by developing meaningful play experiences. Discover games created by participants in the National K-12 Game-a-thon Challenge.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Lazer Box (Grade 3 – 12)

Position lasers and mirrors to deepen your appreciation for lines of symmetry and angles and triangles. Manipulate the line of travel for lasers to predict how the laser path will reflect from mirrors to create parallel and perpendicular lines to hit targets.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Lil’ Mathematician Zone (PreK – Grade 2)

Young children engage in accessible play-based learning where they feel comfortable exploring various math concepts. Skilled facilitators guide children and their parents through activities that can be replicated at home to build math literacy and overall development.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Math Mystery Theater (all ages)

Engage in this interactive theater to solve the mystery of the Candy Counter. State-of-the-art technology allows audience members to respond to performers’ prompts in real-time, so they can join together on this problem-solving journey.

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Locked Up (Grade 3 – 12)

Plan your escape from being tied up in ropes by utilizing topology, a branch of mathematics that helps us map out structure in a different way. Stretch your thinking beyond traditional geometry and consider solutions beyond what you might expect.

Innovation drives progress and our economy, and math and problem solving are at the core of innovation. The creators of the Math Fair, the social benefit nonprofit MIND Research Institute, believe that every child has the ability to succeed in math and contribute to our innovation-driven, global workplace. By making math accessible and exciting, the Math Fair shows visitors that we are all “math people.”

Photo of Eugenia Cheng: Easy recipes for understanding complex maths

Featured Speaker: Dr. Eugenia Cheng

Dr. Eugenia Cheng, mathematician and author of How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics, will provide Math Fair attendees with an accessible introduction to mathematics as powered by insights from cooking. Join her at one of her highly interactive sessions during the Fair to learn how math exists to make life smoother, to solve problems that can be solved by applying math’s most powerful tool: logic.

A University of Cambridge graduate, Dr. Cheng has been featured on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and her online math tutorials have been viewed more than a million times. So committed is Dr. Cheng to mass math demystification that she recently left a tenured professorship to take a position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she teaches math to art students, lectures, and continues her research in category theory on the side.

Family Math Workshops ~~

You and your family explore mathematics in our hands-on, interactive Family Math Workshops facilitated by expert math educators.

Family Math Workshops Preview10:30 am & 2:20 pm

Math Is Everywhere! (Kitchen Math Experience)

Families and students pre-K to 6th grade

This workshop will help parents and their children see every- day activities through a math lens. You will put your goggles on and see math everywhere, and use math in fun ways with everyday activities!

11:40 am & 3:30 pm

Build a Skyscraper: The Geometry of Stable Structures

Families and students 2nd grade to College

In this friendly competition your family will collaborate to build the tallest structure using only straws, newspapers, and masking tape! Discover how Geometry is an essential part of engineering and architecture during this fun problem-solving session.

12:50 & 4:40 pm

Games, Games, and More Games!

Fun for all

Games are a great way for families to interact and share fun times. But did you know that many games can also build math aptitude? Play games with your family that build problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and fluency with the four operations.


The Math Fair is central to MIND Research Institute’s MathMINDs Initiative, which is a movement to shift the cultural perception of math from being scary and frustrating to exciting and essential. MathMINDs engages the community and students in hands-on mathematical experiences outside of the classroom.