It’s Alive!

By: Jim Minge Email
By: Jim Minge Email

What: MathAlive!

When: Opens Saturday. Sept. 21

Where: Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, a 25-minute dash down I-80 in Ashland, Neb.

Cost: $6-$12

Web: sasmuseum.com

Phone: 800.358.5029

When I think of snowboarding, I think energy drinks, Shaun "the Flying Tomato" White, chest-pounding rock and bongs. Not what I consider one of the dirtiest four-letter words ever uttered: "math."

But that's exactly what the snowboarding piece to the “MathAlive!” exhibit – one of the most interactive and inspiring exhibitions exploring the world of mathematics ever to tour – is all about. OK, so maybe math isn't as offensive as I thought it was.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, the 5,000-square-foot extravaganza known as “MathAlive!” opens at the Strategic Air & Space Museum, a 25-minute dash down I-80 in Ashland, Neb. In addition to the 3D snowboarding experience, which allows visitors to torque and twist their bodies over obstacles in an exercise of mathematical angles, the nationally touring exhibit offers more than 40 interactive experiences – from video games to capturing 360-degree images in a binary dance party to operating some of NASA's latest robotics, including the Robonaut 2 and the Curiosity rover.

Design, engineering, technology, science – oh, my! I think I'm starting to change my mind on math.

As you might have gathered, “MathAlive!” is especially designed for peeps grades 3 through 8. But you know what? If there's video games, sports, music and robotics involved, count me in. I might even bring my 4th grade daughter along.

There's a heap-ton (that's an official mathematical term) more to “MathAlive!,” which you can discover at sasmuseum.com. It’s open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for kids 4-12. You can watch a promo video for the exhibit by clicking on the link below.

My question: Is there a display within this exhibit that mathematically calculates how fast a parsec is? According to Han Solo, the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, so it must be fast.


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