Multiplication Explorer, Citizen Science, the year in retrospect: Newsletter December 18, 2014

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Happy holidays from Natural Math!

In this newsletter:

  • Multiplication Explorer online course
  • Become a Citizen Scientist
  • Visit friends of Natural Math for fabulous kid activities

What are you busy with this time of the year? Preparing for the holidays? Remembering all the things you and your family have done this year? Making plans for the new year? All of the above? We are too!

The Natural Math movement is growing – thank you for taking part! Online, through individual projects, and at group opportunities where we’ve invited you to meet and collaborate with other interested and passionate parents, math circle leaders, researchers, authors, and students. Hundreds sign up for the online courses like WOW! Multiplication, participating in crowdfunding campaigns to publish books like Camp Logic, and joining us at large events like Maker Faire, BugFest, SciTech Expo, SPARKcon, and Cary Art Walk. Our materials have been translated into many languages, and people are now reading these words with you live on all continents. Journalists who deeply care about education shared fabulous stories about our work at The Atlantic, Geek Mom, Creative Commons Foundation, and other media outlets.

How can you join these activities, and make them your own? How can you and your children develop meaningful, beautiful, and fun relationships with math? Check out what our community is working on in the next month and beyond.

Take Online Courses

We plan on making new courses available more regularly. We are asked a lot about multiplication, so we are starting the next year with the Multiplication Explorers, an online course for families and small groups that builds fluency in multiplication as participants adventure in algebra, calculus, arts and sciences. The new and improved course will feature favorite activities tested by hundreds of parents over the years, more videos (including video responses to participant questions!), live Q&A meetings every week at multiple times, updated materials with the latest interactives, and more. It will begin on January 26th. If you are interested, sign up to get more information about the course.

At the Citizen Science Station

If you or your kids ever wanted to participate in a real scientific research (as researchers, not as guinea pigs), or if you are already a researcher and loving it, then we’ve got something for you! Some of you had met Dr. Melissa Kibbe, a cognitive psychologist studying early algebra, at our Math Future open event. Now we are collaborating even more.

If you have kids ages 4-8 and want to be one of the first to try the Citizen Science Station at Natural Math, apply to be in alpha and beta testing starting in January. The data you gather will help to understand how young minds develop algebra. You will get citizen science training. You will meet Dr. Kibbe and fellow citizen scientists. Your kids will pretend-play an equations game that will grow with them. Watch the video invitation, and beam up to our Station!

Dr. Kibbe Study

Watch Out for New Books

After publishing our first book, Moebius Noodles, we gathered a team of innovative and talented authors, artists, and editors working together to create books that help you make math your own. The two that are scheduled for release in early 2015 and are available for pre-orders are Playing with Math and Camp Logic. Several more are at various stages of production, from the authors working on the first draft to the almost-finished book being at the hands of our beta readers (early reviewers). Email Maria Droujkova if you want to publish with us, or to be an early reviewer helping authors test and improve their work!


Organize Math Circles and Math Treks

We will continue leading local math circles and Math Treks, and sharing stories about them over at Natural Math. Our goal for 2015 is to put together a resource and support structure to help any interested parent, community volunteer, or older student to lead circles and treks of their own.

Natasha Rozhkovskaya’s new book, Math Circles for Elementary School Students is one of few resources for helping young kids work with complex math.

Visit Friends of Natural Math

Laura Grace Weldon wrote three blog posts connecting the Natural Math way of learning, meaningful math applications, and math play. The third post has 100+ small pieces that show how these connections work for different families and groups: music and dance, outdoors and sciences…

Share Math with Friends

All of our content is Creative Commons licensed. Most of our courses are pay-what-you-want and for those that aren’t scholarships are available. We encourage sharing and creative reuse of our content as long as it remains open to all. That’s why we had so much fun with Team Open, the new project at Creative Commons that shares powerful stories of using open licenses.

Here’s an example of what open licenses allow. Even if you don’t read Russian, you and your children can enjoy the visual parts in this cool remix of our multiplication models poster by ChildrenScience.

Talk to you next year! Dr. Maria Droujkova and Yelena McManaman


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