Online Field Trips

Our online field trips offer eight inspiring, mathematical themes for grades pre-K through 12.  Standard timing for field trip sessions is 45 minutes; custom timing and options available upon request for an additional fee.

Shape Shifters (grades pre-K through 2)
Shapes are all around us, and form the basic building blocks of modern life.  Using wooden squares, rectangles, rhombi, trapezoids, and hexagons, students will discover how shapes are different from each other and how mathematicians identify and name them.  Interactive activities and games will teach students about geometrical symmetries and how to construct polygons with many sides, including the tetracontakaihexagon!  Materials needed: a printout to be provided and scissors (to cut out shapes prior to session).

Discovering Polyominoes (grades K through 3)
You’ve heard of dominoes, but have you ever heard of trominoes, tetrominoes, or pentominoes?  Discover the many surprising shapes you can create simply by combining single-size squares.  Explore various types of symmetry using these unique objects. Warning: Solving polyomino puzzles may provide hours of fun!  Materials needed: a printout to be provided, pencil, marker, and scissors.  Optional materials: tape.

Möbius Madness (grades 3 through 6)
Students construct fascinating topological objects such as Möbius bands, discovering their fundamental patterns and structures.  Hands-on activities lead students to discover the surprising properties hidden around every twist and turn!  Materials needed: 4 strips of paper (2 inch x 11 inch), scissors, tape, and markers (2 colors).

Secrets of Cryptography (grades 3 through 6)
Explore cryptography, secret codes, and ciphers!  Students are introduced to the substitution cipher, which hides messages by replacing letters or groups of letters with other letters or groups of letters.  Using patterns and perseverance, learn how to create hidden messages — and how to break secret codes!  Materials needed: paper, pencil, printout to be provided, and scissors.  Optional materials: brad, paper fastener, or pin.

Crazy Dice (grades 5 through 8)
Once students find the probability of rolling a given sum with a pair of standard dice, they are challenged with finding a different way to number their dice to get the same probabilities.  Crazy!  Materials needed: sheet of paper and pencil.

Topological Tic-Tac-Toe (grades 7 through 12)
The familiar game of tic-tac-toe becomes fun and challenging when we play it on alternative topological surfaces.  The typical 3×3 game board is enhanced by gluing together pairs of opposite edges together in various ways, making for more interesting games and mind-bending playing spaces.  Students will learn to appreciate the ins and outs of these new objects as they develop strategies to master the mathematically enhanced games.  Materials needed: sheet of paper and pencil.

Evening the Odds (grades 9 through 12)
The probability of rolling different sums with a standard pair of dice depends upon the sum in question.  This activity guides students to find ways to renumber their dice so every sum appears with the same probability.  But then, what sums are possible to fit into this scheme?  How many different sums can be rolled with equal likelihood?  The answers to these questions and more are found in this activity.  Materials needed: sheet of paper and pencil.