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Updated: June 7, 2013 18:59 IST

Number games

Harshini Vakkalanka
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Bridging gaps
Bridging gaps

Hands on Maths is an exhibition that shows how math can be fun, the German instructions to the experiments are an added bonus

Peek into a kaleidoscope and watch as the patterns are reflected in an infinite corridor of mirrors. Slide some balls down angular and curved rails and see which one reaches faster. Or simply watch how bubbles are shaped like their frames, triangular, square or even hourglass-shaped.

If you are a fan of mathematical theorems, figure out what the Pythagoras Theory means using coloured tiles. If you like to know how shapes work, try to fit the star or the Pyramid into the cube. You can do a little time travel and get into Leonardo Da Vinci’s head to find out how he built a bridge with bars. And if you thought math and music had nothing to do with each other, play the “Mozart: A game of musical dice”, where you can compose a piece of music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by casting dice.

These are all part of 20 exhibits from the Mathematikum, a math museum in Gieseen, Germany which are on display in the “Hands on Maths” exhibition at the Goethe Institut/Max Muelle Bhavan.

The exhibition displays select and popular experiments from the German exhibition, which make mathematical concepts simple to understand and playful to engage with, for both adults and children.

“Basically it’s part of our partner school and study bridge initiative, where we are trying to introduce mathematical language to children who are learning German in our partner schools. This will expose them to scientific language at an early age so that they can study in Germany at an earlier age,” says Lalitha Nagaram, from the Max Mueller Bhavan.

“We just want to bring to them the fun side of learning, whether its math or German since people usually have a fear of learning. We want to show students and teachers alike that learning or teaching math can be fun, if they can use such things in a classroom. Also if German speaking children come and see all those German words, because we have instructions in both German and English, they will be happy to see German words that they recognize.”

There will also be math workshops and quizzes organized by the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, as part of the exhibition. There will be a workshop on June 13 and a quiz on June 11. For details, contact Lalitha Nagaram at 9945665352 or e-mail

The exhibition will be on display until June 15 at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, 716 CMH Road, Indiranagar 1st Stage.

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