Math On-A-Stick: New Favorite at Minnesota State Fair

math-on-a-stickThose who talk to me for any meaningful amount of time usually are quick to detect an accent, and most can attribute it to the Upper Midwest. I’m a native of the Twin Cities, and “How to Speak Minnesotan” is the most widely lent title in my sizable collection of books.

I love to return home anytime (yes, even in winter), but especially at this time of year when the Minnesota State Fair is open for a 12-day run.

Fate or Coincidence

MN State Fair: Cheese CurdsThis year, four Minnesota schools booked training in mid- to late-August, giving me the opportunity to visit “The Great Minnesota Get-together” for the umpteenth time! Yes, I was excited to see Bob’s Snake Zoo (where I worked a long, LONG time ago) and the 4-H displays, the Miracle of Birth barn and Machinery Hill, and to dine on BOTH cheese curds and the fresh, roasted corn on the cob.

But this year, I couldn’t wait to visit a new attraction: Math On-A-Stick*, the brainchild of educator Christopher Danielson. Inspired by the Fair’s literacy-oriented “Alphabet Forest,” Danielson approached the Minnesota State Fair Foundation to ask about hosting a similar experience with a focus on mathematics. The Foundation liked the idea and Math On-A-Stick debuted at the 2015 State Fair. Here’s a short description from the Fair’s website:

The Math On-A-Stick experience is a welcoming space where kids and grown-ups can explore fun math concepts at the fair. Play with geometric and reptile-shaped tiles to create designs and patterns. Sort, count and look for what’s the same and what’s different in groups of colored eggs on captivating cards. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the fair to enjoy a shapes or numbers book

It was wonderful to spend time at Math On-A-Stick with Christopher, volunteers staffing the exhibit and especially children so engaged by all the hands-on activities available.

Below are some images showing kids (and adults) digging into math.

 

Math On-A-Stick: Danielson

Cassy with Math On-A-Stick Mastermind, Christopher Danielson

Christopher Danielson is host of the Talking Math With Your Kids website and author of the forthcoming book, Which One Doesn’t Belong? (Of which I have pre-ordered and am anxiously checking the mailbox for.)

*The Minnesota State Fair is famous for the variety of food (and other things) served On-A-Stick: more than 90 vendors [link: http://www.mnstatefair.org/find/food/index.html?category=40&keywords=&-search=Search] offered such items this year.

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About Cassy

Passionate about Singapore Math + Teacher Trainer and Coach + Treasure Hunter + Learner. Answer to the ultimate question? 42.

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