Featured image: The nested spiral pattern of sunflower seeds
Photos from the Museum of Science, Boston
Nature has many mathematical patterns. Some examples are the layers of scales in pine cones, the ripples in windblown sand, nested spirals of the seeds in a sunflower, the shape of a seashell, the ridges of a mountain range, and the layout of stars like the Big Dipper.
A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature, a new temporary exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston starting Sunday, February 4, will explore these mathematical patterns in our natural world.
Enter an immersive theater to see breathtaking footage of the human body, nature, art, and architecture. Learn about fractal branching, spirals, Voroni patterns, the golden ratio, and other mathematical concepts in hands-on activities. And manipulate and create your own mathematical patterns.
Here are a few of the things you can do:
- Measure your wingspan.
- See your eye’s blood vessels.
- Create computer-generated landscapes.
- Play a multi-stringed harp.
When you’re done, you’ll appreciate the beauty of our natural world through numbers.
The exhibit’s centerpiece is a 1,700-square-foot mirror maze that loses you in what seems to be an infinite repeating mirror pattern. Dead ends are scattered throughout the maze, along with a hidden secret room filled with bonus puzzles and artifacts.
The giant mirror maze
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago designed and developed this exhibit.
The exhibit is located in the Green Wing on the second level of the Museum of Science and is free with Exhibit Halls admission: $25 adults ages 12 and older, $20 children ages 3-11, and $21 seniors 60 and older. Buy tickets online or at the museum.
Exhibit Halls hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday. Find more information about the mirror maze exhibit here, call (617) 723-2500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum of Science members can see the exhibit on Saturday, February 3, the day before it opens to the public (join here).
The museum is located at 1 Science Park in Boston. There’s a parking garage, but it fills quickly, especially on weekends. Extra parking is available at CambridgeSide Galleria, a shopping mall nearby.
To avoid parking challenges, take one of the MBTA Green Line B, C, D, or E trains to the Science Park/West End station. Plan your trip on the T. (Boston’s public transit system is called “The T” by the locals.)
Museum of Science in Boston
A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature ends on Wednesday, April 25.