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Featured 2016 Exhibits:

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

South of the Sahara

Transport yourself across time and space to Africa, South of the Sahara, to experience the origins of mathematics. Revisit history and find out how math was a strong fabric of everyday life. Try your hand at centuries-old games that challenge your memory and reasoning skills!

Recommended for: Grades 2 to Adult

Math Fair Exhibit Preview


Exercise your 2D and 3D perceptions by manipulating oversized, architectural foam blocks. Experiment with how shapes fit together by creating complex structures. See geometric forms come to life as you collaborate to build your creations.

Recommended for: Grades PreK–8

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Ice Caves

Play in an immersive virtual environment where you’ll experiment with lines of symmetry to solve complex puzzles. The arcade-style interaction allows for a multi-player experience and gives the feeling of being “inside the game.”

Recommended for: All Ages

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Conic Connections

Experience critical thinking with hands-on, 3D-printed manipulatives. Deconstruct complex puzzles by making connections between seemingly unrelated tools. Discover the difference between hyperbolas and parabolas within a life-size map of conic connections.

Recommended for: Grades 3–12

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Formula DRT

Operate robotic controls to solve a visual representation of the traditional math word problem: “if train A is going x fast, and train B is going y fast...” Activate your innate spatial-temporal reasoning (visual problem solving) ability and test out your solutions in real-time.

Recommended for: Grades 3–12

Math Fair Exhibit Preview


Design and create your own math game with the support of expert game designers. Push the boundaries of game design by developing meaningful play experiences. Discover games created by participants in the National K-12 Game-a-thon Challenge.

Recommended for: Grades K–12

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Lazer Box

Position lasers and mirrors to deepen your appreciation for lines of symmetry and angles and triangles. Manipulate the line of travel for lasers to predict how the laser path will reflect from mirrors to create parallel and perpendicular lines to hit targets.

Recommended for: Grades 3–12

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Lil’ Mathematician Zone

Young children engage in accessible play-based learning where they feel comfortable exploring various math concepts. Skilled facilitators guide children and their parents through activities that can be replicated at home to build math literacy and overall development.

Recommended for: Grades PreK–2

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Math Mystery Theater

Engage in this interactive theater to solve the mystery of the Candy Counter. State-of-the-art technology allows audience members to respond to performers’ prompts in real-time, so they can join together on this problem-solving journey.

Recommended for: All Ages

Math Fair Exhibit Preview

Locked Up

Plan your escape from being tied up in ropes by utilizing topology, a branch of mathematics that helps us map out structure in a different way. Stretch your thinking beyond traditional geometry and consider solutions beyond what you might expect.

Recommended for: Grades 3–12

And many more!

Photo of Eugenia Cheng: Easy recipes for understanding complex maths

Featured Speaker: Dr. Eugenia Cheng

Dr. Eugenia Cheng, mathematician and author of How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics, provided Math Fair attendees with an accessible introduction to mathematics as powered by insights from cooking. Join her at one of her highly interactive sessions during the Fair to learn how math exists to make life smoother, to solve problems that can be solved by applying math’s most powerful tool: logic.

A University of Cambridge graduate, Dr. Cheng has been featured on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and her online math tutorials have been viewed more than a million times. So committed is Dr. Cheng to mass math demystification that she recently left a tenured professorship to take a position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she teaches math to art students, lectures, and continues her research in category theory on the side.

Family Math Workshops Preview Family Math Workshops Preview

Family Math Workshops

You and your family explore mathematics in our hands-on, interactive Family Math Workshops facilitated by expert math educators.

Math Is Everywhere! (Kitchen Math Experience)
Families and students pre-K to 6th grade
This workshop helps parents and their children see everyday activities through a math lens. Put your goggles on and see math everywhere, and use math in fun ways with everyday activities!

Build a Skyscraper: The Geometry of Stable Structures
Families and students 2nd grade to College
In this friendly competition your family collaborates to build the tallest structure using only straws, newspapers, and masking tape! Discover how Geometry is an essential part of engineering and architecture during this fun problem-solving session.

Games, Games, and More Games!
Fun for all
Games are a great way for families to interact and share fun times. But did you know that many games can also build math aptitude? Play games with your family that build problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and fluency with the four operations.