2019 Festival Make or Take Spiral | National Math Festival
People participating in the "Make or Take Spiral"

2019 Festival Make or Take Spiral

Saturday May 4, 2019 from 10:00am - 4:00pm ET

Take the Festival home—or back to your classroom! Get connected to local and national math clubs, online resources, and inspiration of varied shapes and sizes. This is for you: families with kids of all ages, mathematics educators, and crafty hands-on types who want to make something and take it home with them!

Art of Problem Solving

Explore the mathematical mystery of the Moebius Strip! Come make your own strip and take a list of exciting Moebius Strip activities to do with your friends or classmates back home. Also, don’t miss your chance to explore the some of the intriguing math resources designed by the Art of Problem Solving.

Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)

Come meet some members of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), get information about how we can support your budding mathematician, and learn some cool math! AWM actively works to change the narrative around mathematics, making sure there is a place for everyone at the table. The activity is well-suited for any child ages eight and up.

DC Area Math Circles: Chesapeake Math Program

Open to students in Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia, the Chesapeake Math Program spans opportunities from elementary through high school. Students from public, private, and charter schools are welcome. Learn more about the group, as well as about other fun and useful math opportunities including Math Counts, and local tutoring resources.

DC Area Math Circles: DC Math Circle

The DC Math Circle, directed by American University faculty, is on the informal side of things, avoiding traditional classroom formats, examinations, and preparation for competitions in favor of fun and the richness of mathematical discovery! Our program, for 5th through 8th graders, features weekly evening lessons by a variety of in-house instructors and special guest speakers.

DC Area Math Circles: Fairfax Math Circle

Origami activities will explore small, intriguing constructions for students to build and take. These will be appropriate for a large range of students as there are simpler and more complex objects to create. We welcome teachers also. The Fairfax Math Circle is open to middle and high school students; see our website for more details.

DC Area Math Circles: Southern Maryland Math Circle

Come make a hexaflexagon! Hexaflexagons are wonderful tactile paper toys that flex to transition between colorful states, and lead to interesting mathematical puzzles. This activity is appropriate for adults, teachers, and kids age 10 and up. The Southern Maryland Math Circle meets at the Lexington Park Library with fun math activities for middle school and high school students and their parents.

DREME (Development and Research in Early Math Education)

Stop by and visit the DREME Network to practice loving math with your toddler!

  • Intentionality Bowl: Parents gain experience with seizing opportunities to engage in math during everyday routines and activities.
  • Doing Math the Mayan Way: Parents will help children recognize, count, or perform operations using the Mayan numeric system. They will leave with an appreciation of the Mayan culture whose people invented the number 0 and developed an intricate mathematical system, and with a simple fun learning activity that they could do easily do at home with their children using everyday objects.
  • Storybook Activities: Parents and children will play activities (based on content from storybooks) that help them practice their math skills.
  • Exploring Math With Paper: Fold Math Into Your Day: Families will engage in spatial thinking and language through origami and making symmetrical designs by folding paper.
  • Card Games: Families will learn some math games they can play with a simple deck of playing cards. We will also have materials from our cooking and math project available.
  • General Information and Resources: This table will serve as an introduction to our work, an opportunity to sign up for our mailing list, and to take some resources designed for teachers.

Erikson Early Math Collaborative

Come and see how simple-to-make dot cards can be used in a variety of games to promote early number sense. Make a set to take and play with the preschooler/kindergartener in your life. The Erikson Institute Early Math Collaborative will have video examples and handouts to share with early childhood teachers and parents.

Ithaca College Department of Mathematics and Marymount University Department of Mathematics

Everybody loves balloons—and Geometric Balloon Bending! Come enjoy learning more about Platonic solids, including cubes and tetrahedrons with the Ithaca College Department of Mathematics and Marymount University… and wear one home!

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival

The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival will also offer take home puzzle booklets and other game-based resources for all ages and levels of challenge!

Math Maypole Dance with Nancy Scherich

Maypole dancing meets mathematical patterning—come join the dance! Mathematician and dancer Nancy Scherich will lead this event for ages 8 and up. Participants will weave ribbons into beautiful and mathematically interesting designs. Start your day at the Festival with this full-body, full-color activity that will get your creative juices flowing.

To participate in making the maypole, come promptly at 10am. Later in the day the Math Maypole will remain on display for all to enjoy.

Math Monday

Want to make math games a weekly club or lunchtime event at your school? Come meet Scott Kim and check out his online resources for starting a Math Monday club at your school. And while you’re exploring his site, take note of all the cool math games and puzzles he recommends!

Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

Join the mathematicians of the Mathematical Association of America to learn about the MAA American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) and the first place US International Mathematical Olympiad team. Teachers, check out Curriculum Inspirations led by MAA’s Mathematician-at-Large, Dr. James Tanton, and make sure to catch his talk at the 2019 NMF on “How Many Degrees are in a Martian Circle?” at 10:15am and repeated at 2:00pm. Activities are aimed at the middle school and high school communities. Learn more at maa.org/amc.

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Try your hand at Super-Cube Shuffle and Factor Forts, learn about Crazy 8’s Math Clubs, take home Math at Home booklets from the California Math Council, and learn about MSRI’s Public Understanding of Math programs: face to face, online, books, movies, and more!

National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) & the Benjamin Banneker Association

Come learn more about the African-American contribution to mathematics with hands-on activities organized by the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) and the Benjamin Banneker Association. Create parts of 17th century surveyor, naturalist, and farmer Benjamin Banneker’s Almanac and share your creations via photos on the BBA and NAM websites!

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

What do bears in a boat have to do with mathematics? Come see the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to find out. If you teach math, you’ll love NCTM!

Natural Math

You’ve heard about hands-on math. Now get ready for math on your hands! Model the hardest quarter of the times tables, from 6×6 to 10×10, using your fingers and this early algebra trick even a five-year-old can learn.


Experience the latest in science games, interactives, and immersive virtual reality produced by NOVA, the most-watched science documentary series on American television. Navigate the cosmos in our latest astrophysics game, use the periodic table to build molecular compounds, and learn how NASA scientists collect data about Greenland’s disappearing glaciers in NOVA’s digital activities for teens.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Come visit the National Science Foundation! Adults: Pick up an NSF Passport, learn about the NSF support behind the 2019 National Math Festival presentations, collect passport stamps, and enter to win a tablet computer! Kids: Take an NSF Activity Book with you, complete the challenges, and bring it back; the first 50 completed entries will win a free Foldscope 140X, 2 micron resolution microscope! Did you miss the NSF We Are Mathematics video competition winners in the Film Room? Come see the film loop! Curious about the NSF? Chat, take a selfie, or do a photo shoot with some of our NSF math crew!

ThinkFun Games

ThinkFun will be bringing between 4-6 interactive games opened and available to be played during festival hours. ThinkFun will also have flyers available for pickup advertising their educators’ discount as well as their Math Dice Program. ThinkFun is the world’s leader in addictively fun games that stretch and sharpen your mind. The intended audience for the games will be for kids that range from ages 5-8 and up. The flyers for pickup will be intended for educators and teachers.


Share the joy of early math learning with your preschoolers while playing new math apps and activities! Tablets will be provided, and you can also take activities home and download the free apps on your own devices. Preschoolers, parents, and early childhood teachers will all enjoy! These apps and activities were made by WGBH and showcase public media’s pioneering research and development on how to best use tablet technology for early math learning.

The Young People’s Project

Come play the Flagway™ Game—a mathematical sport! Stop by The Young People’s Project and find out how you can get involved in the math literacy movement near you.

Hall D and Hallways of Level 2, Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Age Level



Art of Problem Solving

Art of Problem Solving textbooks have been used by outstanding students since 1993. The AoPS website launched in 2003, and its online community... Learn more

Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) encourages women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and... Learn more

Chesapeake Math Program (CMP)

Open to students in Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia, the Chesapeake Math Program spans opportunities from elementary through high school.... Learn more

DC Math Circle

The DC Math Circle, directed by American University faculty, is on the informal side of things, avoiding traditional classroom formats,... Learn more

Dr. Scott Kim

Puzzles are to math what stories are to language, says noted puzzle designer, author, and mathematical artist Dr. Scott Kim. His first book,... Learn more

DREME Network

The DREME Network includes early childhood departments at Boston College, Columbia University Teachers College, New York University, San Francisco... Learn more

Erikson Institute Early Math Collaborative

Erikson Institute Early Math Collaborative is transforming the understanding, teaching, and learning of early mathematics from the ground up.... Learn more

Fairfax Math Circle (FMC)

The Fairfax Math Circle is open to middle and high school students; see www.fairfax-... Learn more

Ithaca College

Department of Mathematics Ithaca College, a comprehensive residential campus community of 7,000 students in the Finger... Learn more

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival

The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival has been supporting fun math events for over a decade all over the world. JRMF's mission is to inspire the... Learn more

Mary Chrestenson-Becker

Mary Chrestenson-Becker is a math tutor and an origami teacher. She has been conducting origami classes and workshops in schools and at events for... Learn more

Marymount University

Department of Mathematics At Marymount University (MU), the mathematics department is committed to help you discover the... Learn more

Math Monday

Math Monday is a weekly drop-in lunchtime activity where students of all ages can get hands on with math games, puzzles and... Learn more

Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

The Mathematical Association of America is the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts. MAA furthers the... Learn more

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) is one of the world’s preeminent centers for collaborative research in mathematics. Located in... Learn more

Nancy Scherich

Nancy Scherich is a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara working on her Ph.D. in mathematics. She has... Learn more

National Association of Mathematicians (NAM)

The National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) is a non-profit professional organization in the mathematical sciences with membership open to... Learn more

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is the public voice of mathematics education, supporting teachers to ensure equitable... Learn more

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the only federal agency tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in all... Learn more

Natural Math

Natural Math places the maker approach at the center of its mathematics education philosophy. Our motto: “Math is what you make... Learn more

NOVA Education

NOVA Education creates and curates free multimedia STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) resources and events that... Learn more

Rebin Muhammad

Rebin Muhammad was born in Kurdistan of Iraq and is a Ph.D. candidate at Ohio University. He developed an interest in Islamic Geometric Patterns (... Learn more

Southern Maryland Math Circle

The Southern Maryland Math Circle meets at the... Learn more

The Young People’s Project (YPP)

The Young People’s Project (YPP) brings together middle school students and high school mentors to celebrate, encourage, and... Learn more


Children love ThinkFun’s award-winning games, mobile apps, brainteasers, and logic puzzles, available online and through major retailers in 60... Learn more


GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH... Learn more