So you’ve got a TOTALLY awesome vacation coming up! You’re gonna visit some cool sights, try some new food and relax on gorgeous coasts OR none of that at all, it’s YOUR vacation, make it what you want! That all sounds really nice right?! BUT WAIT! Obviously you didn’t forget that everything that goes into planning a super awesome trip involves math, did you? OF COURSE YOU NOT! So we’ll help you out with planning your much deserved vacay with the power of MATH!
Is there any better time to explore something new than during the summer? We sure don’t think so. With the typical flock of festivals, parties and weekends at the cottage you’re already probably taking part in this summer, sometimes it can be good to shake things up a little. There are tons of math/science-related attractions across the continent that we totally want to hit up before the summer ends. Check out our list of the best places to head to if you’re feeling like your brain might be getting a little blurry..
Aka the Museum of Mathematics. Yes you read that correctly. The city that never sleeps is also home to the National Museum of Mathematics, the only museum of its kind in the entire country! According to their website, MoMath “strives to enhance public understanding and perception of mathematics”. Now that’s a field trip outing we can 100% get behind.
Sometimes, we forget that Toronto is home to one of the coolest museum’s in the country. In addition to the Science Centre’s permanent displays, there’s always special exhibits and super cool IMAX movies that are worth checking out. Right now, you can catch A Beautiful Planet, (a doc that explores Earth from space and is narrated by #girlboss J-Law) and America Wild (which takes you on an experiential tour of America’s best national parks).
Put that physics knowledge to use and gear up for your Grade 12 Calc & Vectors course by visiting the National Air and Space Museum in DC. A part of the Smithsonian Institute, the museum boasts the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. In addition to being able to get up close and personal with spaceships, the museum also features tons of educational info on planetary science and geology. Can’t make it all the way to DC? Check out their STEM webcasts, 30-minute live webcasts you can catch that cover Science, Technology and Engineering related topics!
If you’re visiting the MOMATH in NYC, then you might as well kill two birds with one stone and head to the Museum of Natural History too. If you’ve seen the Ben Stiller classic Night at the Museum, you can experience all those exhibits in IRL (but we can’t guarantee the dinosaurs will actually come alive). Between the Cosmic pathway, Ocean Life Hall and Hall of Human Origins, this is a museum you could kill some serious time in .
We all know by now that Food = Science. That’s why we’re suggesting this totally unique museum found in our nation’s capital. Check out the inner workings of a farm, learn about Canada’s agricultural history and the technology that’s working to create renewable energy production on farms. Current exhibitions to see include “Food Preservation: The Science You Eat” and “Taking Care of Beesness”.
The countdown to summer is ON. We know that for the next few weeks, most of you will have your heads buried in your textbooks and class notes, but we promise, the end is near. Studying hard now will pay off, and you know that all the effort is only temporary- in a short while you’ll be able to chill out and relax for 3 whole months! Although we don’t recommend you spend your entire summer on a couch in front of the TV, we know it’s bound to happen on on a rainy weekend or at the end of a busy day. Instead of watching mind-numbing reality TV shows, or whatever over-hyped summer blockbuster is out, check out the Math Guru’s favourite movies instead. Each one has some relation to math/science, but it won’t feel like you’re sitting in your 9:00am functions class. We promise, it is possible to learn and get a little inspired while still Netflix and chillin.
The Imitation Game
This historical drama is based on the life of Alan Turing, a mathematician who was basically one of the first computer coders. He helped fight the Nazis in World War II by deciphering the messages sent over the Enigma machine (the tool the Nazis used to secretly communicate their radio signals). Obviously, the story has been “Hollywoodized” but one thing is made clear, Turing’s work was essential in giving us modern day computer science and artificial intelligence.
An all time classic, so many people forget that the main character Cady Heron (a.k.a. Lindsey Lohan) is actually a huge math nerd. Though we don’t approve of Cady’s attempt to at first hide the fact that she is a complete math genius, she redeems herself in the end when she competes with the Mathletes and ends up winning the competition for her school. If there’s one thing we can learn from Cady, it’s that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive and you should always own it!!
Good Will Hunting
This is probably one of the most #inspirational films listed here. Starring Matt Damon (so you can’t complain), this drama is about a delinquent who works as a janitor at MIT. When he happens upon a difficult math problem left on a chalkboard, he’s able to solve it correctly. What follows is a series of dramatic/emotional events, but the film is rooted in Will’s newly revealed genius. Bonus trivia: University of Toronto Prof. Patrick O’Donnell served as a mathematics advisor for the movie. He also made a cameo as the character “Marty” and it’s his handwriting that appears on all the blackboards throughout the movie.
For the sports fans (and/or Brad Pitt enthusiasts), Moneyball combines both plus a whole lot of math vibes. The movie is based on the true story of Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season. It follows how the General Manager and Assistant General Manager draft a team using a “Sabermetric” approach- which is the fancy term for analyzing baseball based on empirical evidence (a.k.a STATISTICS). Didn’t think math and sports could co-exist? Think again.
The Theory of Everything
Ok, don’t expect to finish watching the Theory of Everything and understand quantum physics. Less educational and more biographical, this film follows the personal life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Though the movie does portray some of his his work it does focus more on his disability and family life. Pick the Theory of Everything if you’re being tempted by a sappy rom-com, but want to go for something that’ll make you feel a little more cultured.