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Entertain & Educate Your Kids this Holiday Break

By: Karen Dybis | December 15, 2021
Math and Science Activities

Math-based activities are a fun way to keep learning all summer long!

Winter break should be a time for students to relax and unwind. But then comes that moment when your teen gets up after lunch or your middle schooler admits they wish they would never have to go back to school. That is when you might want to head out to a Metro Detroit museum, art center or attraction that blends math, science and fun all at the same time.

The Michigan Science Center opened MathAlive this year and it’s an 8000 square-foot, year-long exhibit that connects math to daily life and potential careers. The installation is designed for families and students and brings to life the real math behind what kids love most…namely, video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics and more. 

The goal is to create interactive, immersive learning experiences, organizers said. The exhibit will introduce kids of all ages to STEM education, STEM-related careers and more. It also will answer the question of what they will do with math after school is over.

MathAlive! is designed for students in grades 3-8 and provides interactive experiences like controlling the Curiosity Rover, riding a snowboard, designing a skateboard, engineering a model city, creating a sustainable skyscraper and striking a pose in a 360-degree freeze-motion photo shoot. “Extreme Weather Alert” lets visitors analyze weather data and record their own weather telecast, which they can send to themselves.

 

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Another area known as “Cyber Security” allows kids to step inside an online computer game where they are challenged to defend against invaders—like computer bugs and viruses—using computer passcodes, multi-factor authentication, and simple code sequences. Each area is accompanied by stories and features from professionals and visionaries, highlighting how they apply math in their respective fields every day.

Here are some other math- and science-centric locations around Metro Detroit where your students will have fun and, perhaps, pick up a bit of knowledge. 

Cranbrook Institute of Science

The Cranbrook Institute of Science is located on the Cranbrook grounds in Bloomfield Hills and it is one of the easiest science museums to navigate with children in Metro Detroit. The museum features a multitude of attractions, including a planetarium, observatory, science garden and more. Cranbrook ticket prices vary. 

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

You’ll love seeing everything inside this Kerrytown museum. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum has some standard sights that everyone loves, such as making bubbles or the old general store, but there’s also many science-focused exhibits including the “Michigan Nature” exhibit, where kids can learn about their local habitat, the “Light & Optics” exhibit and the “Google Liquid Galaxy,” to name a few. Admission is free for members, $11 for adults and $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays only. The museum is also free for babies ages 0 through 23 months.

Belle Isle

There are multiple locations to see on the island if you want to learn about the math of sailing, the science of flower propagation or even wildlife. One favorite stop is the Belle Isle Aquarium, designed by famed Detroit architect, Albert Kahn, and opened on August 18, 1904. It is the oldest aquarium in the country and has served the Detroit community as a beloved attraction for generations. Thousands of Detroit school children visit the aquarium every year to learn about aquatic life and science. 

Wayne State University Planetarium

Times vary for when the sky is best for viewing the stars above all of us, but this is a great spot to see them. The Wayne State University Planetarium hosts public shows that teach visitors about the planets, solar system, stars and more with a state-of-the-art Spritz High Definition Digital System.

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