Frequently Asked Questions
For the past five years, families from all over the world have traveled to participate in MoMath’s summer camp, which has featured sold-out sessions and a long list of returning camp families and dedicated campers. What makes camp at MoMath so valuable, and how is Transformations unlike any other “math camp” program?
These FAQs reveal (almost) everything you need to know about Manhattan’s best-kept secret in summer programming. Find answers to your burning questions here, and learn what makes MoMath’s summer camp uniquely fun and inspiring!
Q: What do returning camp families know that new families don’t know?
A: Fundamentally, MoMath’s summer program inspires children to see the beauty in mathematics and to study math in an informal learning environment while exposing them to diverse areas of mathematics. Our class sizes are small and our counselors are plentiful. All our activities are hands-on and sometimes even full-body interactive. We instill in children a sense that math is fun and much broader than the material they see in school, so that they go home exclaiming, “Wow, math is cool!”
Q: What does a typical day look like in summer camp?
A: Campers start the day with an exhibit challenge to wake up their minds and their bodies. Then, they break up into their appropriate sections to take an intensive, educator-led session focused on a math activity related to that week’s theme. Next, they regroup alongside their community of peers to explore one of the many connections to mathematics, whether that is music, dance, science, writing, or arts and crafts — magic happens when a room of young math enthusiasts get together with a creative purpose. Lunch is eaten enthusiastically as a communal gathering, usually with a few Rubik’s cubes, mathematical riddles, or puzzles floating around the room. Many of our campers also prefer to read at lunchtime. After lunch, an excursion to the park or exploration time in the Museum leaves campers physically exhausted but mentally ready to tackle another intensive, educator-led session. As time permits, campers explore another of the many connections to mathematics, perhaps this time with modular origami, magic card tricks, or juggling. The day ends with Camper’s Choice, which gives each camper the option to finish up an earlier activity, extend or explore something they learned that day, or work on an ongoing project for the week. While most campers go home at regular dismissal, a handful of campers stay for the extended day, which allows them to take advantage of the Museum’s 40+ exhibits while guided by MoMath’s knowledgeable Museum staff.
Q: Does MoMath provide lunch?
A: Officially, MoMath does not provide lunch nor snacks. Unofficially, every camper knows about Pizza Fridays: packing a lunch becomes optional on Fridays because the Museum brings in pizza to celebrate the last day of the week-long session. For campers who don’t eat pizza, rest assured that about 20% of campers still bring a packed lunch on Fridays. Additionally, many longtime campers enroll during their “birthday week” because Pizza Friday becomes Pizza+Ices Friday (for everyone!) when someone has a birthday that week.
On non-Fridays, all campers must bring a packed lunch that does not need to be refrigerated nor reheated. For families on the go, there are several stores in the neighborhood for grab-and-run lunch options in the morning: Essen, Fairway, Pret a Manger, Starbucks, Cafe 28, and many more.
Q: Do you split up twins? What about siblings?
A: Transformations is an intentionally small program with mixed ages in each section. The range of ages span approximately two to three years per section. Twins are usually never split up, and siblings would be placed into separate classes only if their ages or abilities qualify them for different sections. MoMath’s camp program is thoughtfully designed to successfully deliver the same lesson to children of slightly different ages with positive impact. If your children have always wanted to take camp classes together, MoMath is the place to go!
Q: Is Museum admission included in camp registration?
A: Campers will receive plenty of opportunities to explore the Museum and its exhibits during the course of their camp session with MoMath. However, adult chaperones must wait in the lobby of the Museum during drop-off and pick-up. Though Museum admission is not extended to adult chaperones, there is one exception: the Camp Friends & Family “Free Play” afternoon. An ongoing tradition among campers, Camp Friends & Family “Free Play” is one afternoon per session (announced at the start of camp) when campers, their families, and their guests are invited to explore the Museum with free admission. Conducted after campers are dismissed, this opportunity is designed to be a low-key event for campers to share their love of math with their families. Campers who choose to not stay for Free Play may simply go home without any fuss; there are no awkward classroom demonstrations, nor any embarrassing moments for campers whose parents have busy work schedules. For those who choose to take advantage of Free Play, the value of not paying for admission will greatly offset your camp registration fee!
Q: My child has special educational needs. What can you do to support his needs?
A: MoMath’s summer camp staff and faculty are not specifically trained to address special educational needs, however, Transformations does offer small class sizes and attentive counselors (who are typically college students). Furthermore, MoMath’s faculty is comprised of talented educators with classroom experience. We have seen several students with special educational needs thrive in our camp program, particularly those with a strong interest in mathematics. Our program does permit the support of a paraprofessional provided by the camper’s family, and they are an invaluable addition to the classroom; documentation is required and the arrangement must be requested in advance. Permission is granted at MoMath’s sole discretion.
Every child is different. If you would like to discuss whether your child with special needs might enjoy our camp program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: We are visiting New York for the summer from somewhere far away. Will my child fit in?
A: As America’s only National Museum of Mathematics, we attract campers from all over the country and throughout the world. Whether they live across the street, across the Hudson, across the nation, or across the globe, a diversity of campers enjoy coming to MoMath summer after summer and make pen pals for years to come. For those learning English, mathematics is a universal language that brings together everyone in camp, and we have worked with families from non-English speaking countries to ensure their child is comfortable in our program.