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STEM Saturday: Puzzled

On Saturday 9 December 2023 representatives of the math department hosted STEM Saturday: Puzzled at the Lafayette Science Museum. This event was a great success! The members of our team are: Chasy Dupont (the event organizer, team leader, and math undergraduate student), Chasy's daughter Masyn Dupont, Justin Lynd (math professor), Justin's son Liam Lynd, and Ali Lingkon (math graduate student).

The Math STEM Saturday crew

Our team shared with the museum visitors hands-on math-based puzzles. The children and parents enjoyed some trial and error with the Euler Path puzzles. These are the pegs on a board that the visitors in the photos below are trying to connect with the blue cords. The goal is to connect the pegs along the lines drawn on the board covering each line exactly once. if you can do this so that you end up at the peg you started with you have found an Euler circuit! You can try this,too. The Museum has a permanent exhibit with this activity in the Mathematics section.

Visitors also had fun with the Pythagorean puzzle which gave the children new knowledge of shapes and area. The adults enjoyed this puzzle as it gave them a fresh perspective and deeper understanding of the Pythagorean theorem. This activity is the one with the wooden pieces (4 triangles and one square) that the visitors in the photos below are trying to fit into the appropriate sections of the board with triangle and square cutouts.

The third activity was the Magic Square which resembles a cell of a Sudoku puzzle. This activity was familiar to more experienced visitors and gave the little ones a delightful lesson in addition and logic.