## Classroom Visits Spring 2020

During the Spring 2020 semester, we continued with our BAMM @ Your School program. We were able to visit three elementary schools in February and March. We had more visits scheduled, but unfortunately, at the moment it seems unlikely that those visits will happen. We are following the appropriate social distancing recommendations to contribute to keep our community healthy.

We visited a 1st grade class at Deer Run Elementary and a 2nd grade class at Wyandot Elementary. On those workshops, students explored polyominoes. They each had a bunch of square tiles, and we started by asking them to take two tiles and put them together so that they share a full side. This was such an easy task that they looked at us intrigued, wondering if that was really all we were asking. Then we asked them to take two more tiles and try to come up with a different way of arranging the tiles, but again so they shared a side. This seemed a more interesting task, but it didn’t take them long to come up with the two different dominoes: vertical and horizontal. They were also able to conclude that a third one cannot be found.

The next task was to repeat the process with 3 tiles and then with 4 too. Some started competing with each other to see who could find more tetrominoes. Some were eager to go to the next step and asked “Can I try with 5 tiles now?”. We gave them a grid paper mat where they drew their findings. The last task was to make rectangles with pentominoes. They could use any they want, but if you’ve ever played tetris, you probably now this task is not as easy as it sounds.

At Glacier Ridge Elementary, we visited a 4th grade classroom and had them play games on graphs. We first talked a little about this other type of graph most of them were not familiar with and explained what a graph coloring is: one where connected vertices are of different colors. Then students chose a partner to play against and were given a board with a graph and some colored chips. To start, the players choose a set of colors to play with. One of the players is the “Maker”, trying to achieve a valid coloring, while the other player is the “Breaker” who is trying to ruin the coloring. However, the Breaker has to respect the coloring rule too, that is, they cannot put a color on a vertex if one of its neighbors already has that color. The players take turns placing a chip on an empty vertex each time.

Students played on different graphs and with different numbers of colors and came up with some winning strategies, sometimes for the Maker and sometimes for the Breaker.

BAMM @ Your School is free and its only subject to time availability. Find more information about the program here. Volunteers are very much welcomed and appreciated. Find out about the upcoming volunteering opportunities, in this and our other programs, and register here.

## BAMM @ the Museum

This Spring we also finally started a couple of partnerships we were looking at since last year. The program is called BAMM @ the Museum and it is a great way for us to extend our programming to other cities in Ohio. Museums are great hubs for interactive learning and they often offer workshops and other programming beyond their permanent exhibits.

In February and March, we visited for the first time two of our state’s great museums: AHA! A Hands-On Adventure, A Children’s Museum, in Lancaster, and The Works, Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology, in Newark.

AHA! is a very special museum for toddlers. There we set a station for three hours, during which a few toddlers stopped to play and experiment with materials such building tiles, rep-tiles puzzles, and Frogs and Toads. One 6-year old girl was very commited in trying all our activities and upon solving a puzzle looked at us like asking “What’s next?”

We crashed The Works on a slow rainy day but enjoyed hosting their Curious Kids program. Curious Kids is a weekly workshop for 2- to 6-year olds that lasts 30 minutes. Bart Snapp led a workshop on tilings and symmetries. The tables were fulled with wood tiles with different equilateral shapes and kids were asked to put them together creating patterns. He showed some examples with different types of symmetries and the little ones, with some help from their parents, were able to come up with examples of their own.

We promised to come back for Curious Kids every month. We will also join another one of their programs: Girls Night In, for teenage girls and their mothers.

We hope to find other museums in cities around Columbus, so that we can extend our math programming to all Ohio.

## BAMM and the AAASCEC

The Department of African American and African Studies has a Community Extension Center (CEC) located on the Near Eastside of Columbus. The CEC strives to provide academic and community education opportunities for its Near Eastside neighbors and the greater Central Ohio community. We were lucky to have come in contact with the AAAS Departament and are now joining their efforts offering math programming at the CEC.

On three consecutive Fridays in February and March, we offered a Mathmagic workshop there. Every session we taught one or two different magic tricks, so people who wanted to come to all would not be seeing repeated content. The workshop was addressed to middle school students, but some parents and other accompanying adults joined to. We were really happy to see adults and children alike very engaged in discovering the math behind the magic tricks.

That is not all, because we will be offering a math exhibit every month on the second Saturday. On those days, which we have called Math Day, from 12:30 to 3 pm everybody is welcomed to stop at the CEC and explore the beauty and richness of mathematics through numerous games, puzzles and crafts.

We also plan to keep on bringing more workshops for the K-12 students in the community, as well as other math programming.