As we prepare for the National Math Festival on Saturday, May 4, 2019, we look to our neighbor to the west, the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California, for reflections on their recent Geometric Bubble Blowing Event that served as a pilot for dozens of similar events nationwide this spring.
By Michelle Rodriguez, Public Programs Manager
Lawrence Hall of Science
The Lawrence Hall of Science is UC Berkeley’s public science center. The Hall provides Bay Area families with fun, interactive learning experiences that spark curiosity and engage them with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our mission to inspire and foster science learning for all, especially those with limited access to science.
The Hall also happens to be just down the hill from MSRI, organizer of the National Math Festival. When MSRI reached out to their neighbors to see if they’d be willing to do a trial run of an activity exploring mathematical concepts through bubbles, the Hall readily agreed.
The bubbles were brought in as a member event associated with the Hall’s New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop. Hall members explored the question of whether it is possible to produce a free-floating bubble shaped like a cube. They also dipped 3-dimensional shapes made possible by Zometool into a bubble solution and explored how soap films interacted with each other.
The event was a success! The Hall’s members were delighted and surprised by the shapes that they were able to create. This feeling of delight and surprise can help foster a love and appreciation for math at an early age (or any age!). The Hall is looking forward to sharing their experience with other institutions getting ready for their own bubble explorations during the National Math Festival on May 4, 2019.