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A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature

Exhibit Highlights

Find the patterns around you.

A gallery of fun hands-on activities allows guests to spot patterns in music, art, architecture and even their own bodies.

  • An interactive mirror compares a guest’s body proportions to the Golden Ratio. They’ll also test their face for symmetry—and might be surprised just how different they’d look if both sides were exactly the same!

  • Manipulate computer-based landscapes to learn how fractals are used in animation.

  • Control 3-D models and explore patterns in natural objects like a pinecone or tortoise shell.

  • Identify mathematical patterns in music and learn how composers employ patterns by creating chords of your own.

Immersive theater

A large-format, four-minute film reveals the elegance and universality of patterns in nature. Stunning images are overlaid with animation to reveal the mathematical patterns beneath, including the Golden Ratio, spirals, fractal branching and Voronoi patterns.

Get lost in the maze.

The enthralling centerpiece of this math lesson is a giant mirror maze— a sea of equilateral triangle chambers that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a kaleidoscope. The mirror maze itself is a pattern, combining several characteristics of geometric patterns: repetition, symmetry and tessellation. Unexpected dead ends trigger intriguing questions, and a hidden chamber provides more surprises.

This exhibit is a great way to make math accessible and relevant to young minds. Exhibit Guest