5 Best Math Museums In America

Math can be a crashing bore–or it can be incredibly fun, engaging, and exciting. It all depends who’s doing the teaching. In this guest post, Noelle takes us on a tour of five museums that bring math to life–and get kids (and by “kids” I mean anyone from about 2-102) excited about learning. That right there makes them worth the price of admission.

Math is one of the easiest subjects to learn while traveling. Our natural world surrounds us with math, and learning it opens a whole new perspective on the planet we live in and the forms that inhabit it. Geometry in particular can be taught on the road, by looking at architecture and solving equations relating to it. For parents traveling with younger children, try quizzing them often on their math skills to keep their abilities up to par. Another interesting way to learn about math while on the road is to take your family to exciting mathematical museums around the world. Here are a few of the best in the United States:
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Supporting Military Families + Death-Defying Math

www.amazon.co.ukGuest 1: Jill Biden, author of Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops.
Topic: The Second Lady of the US talks about being the mother of a deployed soldier and the effects of deployment on children.


www.amazon.co.ukGuest 2: Sean Connolly, author of The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math.
Topic: Death-defying challenges for young mathematicians.
Issues: How to defeat vampires using algebraic equations; destroy and out-of-control asteroid using geometry; escape an enemy spy using ratios and proportions; plus killer tornadoes, deadly spiders, zombies, and more.

Jill Biden + Deadly Math Problems + Bratproofing Your Child + Redefining Geeks

www.amazon.co.ukGuest 1: Jill Biden, author of Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops.
Topic: The Second Lady of the US talks about being the mother of a deployed soldier and the effects of deployment on children.


www.amazon.co.ukGuest 2: Sean Connolly, author of The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math.
Topic: Death-defying challenges for young mathematicians.
Issues: How to defeat vampires using algebraic equations; destroy and out-of-control asteroid using geometry; escape an enemy spy using ratios and proportions; plus killer tornadoes, deadly spiders, zombies, and more.


www.amazon.co.ukGuest 3: Lewis Solomon and Janet Stern Solomon, coauthors of Bratproofing Your Children.
Topic: How to raise socially and financially responsible kids.
Issues: Protecting children from potentially negative influences of parents’ wealth; protecting your wealth from being destroyed by children and grandchildren.


www.amazon.co.ukGuest 4: Marybeth Hicks, author of Bringing Up Geeks.
Topic: How to protect your kid’s childhood in a grow-up-too-fast world.
Issues: Redefining “geek” in positive terms (Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids); freeing children from cultural conditioning while instilling important values; pursuing passions instead of fashions; resisting peer pressure and destructive behavior; supporting the love of learning that helps kids excel in school.

The Finnish Line: Could Americans Learn From the Finnish Education System?

Seems like every few months there’s a story about how bad American students do in math, science, and reading than many other countries. Usually, we’re compared with China and South Korea and a few other Asian countries where Tiger parenting rules supreme. (South Korea, by the way, has the highest student suicide rate of any country in the world. I think I’d opt for a live child with lower grades than a dead straight-A student.) But what we don’t hear much about is Finland, which does remarkably well on these tests and has happier, less-depressed (and less suicidal) children. In this guest post from Jason Evan, we’ll find out what Finland is doing that we might be able to learn from.

Here in the States, we like to think of ourselves as the best and the brightest. For sure, there is a lot of brainpower coming out of America (we have Mark Zuckerberg, after all), yet in 2010 the scores from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exams were released and the U.S. was found to be about middling in reading, science and math (14th, 17th and 25th, respectively). Sure, we have some of our most ambitious and able resident pursuing programs such as LL.M taxation eventually, but what about those formative early years?

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Do Preschool Math and Reading Skills Predict College Success? Nope.

Preschool used to be pretty fun for kids. Lots of play, lots of hanging out with other kids and making friends. But in recent years, an increasing number of preschools have started teaching subjects like math and reading. The rationale is that kids need solid academic skills if they’re going to succeed in college and beyond. Sounds logical, but it turns out that it isn’t even close to being right.

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Want smarter kids? Have them play with dad.

One of the most classically dad things is playing–physically–with the kids. Now along comes another study that proves that imaginative play with dad is good for kids’s brains too. When you encourage your children’s imagination, their vocabularies are larger and they do better in math.

What’s unique about this particular study, which was done at Utah State University, is that the researchers went to the trouble of, gasp, including dads. Most previous play studies had looked at mom-child interactions.

So how do you boost the amount of imaginative play? Start by encouraging make believe and fantasy. Then, when your reading stories, don’t be shy about acting out some parts or talking about what’s happening in the illustrations or why particular characters are doing what they’re doing. Plopping your kids in front of the TV (or even watching silently with them) or reading books straight through from beginning to end without any commentary won’t help.

A bit more detail on the study here:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=19524630&title=study-shows-playtime-with-both-parents-crucial-to-child-development&s_cid=queue-6