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Volunteers Put the M in S.T.E.A.M at Imaginology

MIND brings engaging mathematical experiences to Orange County, CA residents in partnership with OC Fair & Event Center.

By Kelsey Skaggs April 27, 2017

“A family that volunteers together, stays together,” tweeted Mike Limon after snapping a photo with his two sisters. Outfitted in signature blue “JiJi Volunteer” shirts, the three were prepared for a full day of facilitating hands-on activities at Imaginology, OC Fair & Event Center’s S.T.E.A.M. themed celebration.

This is MIND Research Institute’s third, and most ambitious, year participating in Imaginology. In the past, our organization has presented a sample of mathematical games and 3D manipulatives to entice participants. This year however, we took up more than a third of an entire hall with our mathematical activities. Five different exhibits allowed students to explore math concepts such as topology, spatial-temporal reasoning and more.

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Students try their hand at ancient math games that challenge memory and reasoning skills

Over 36,000 students and their family members attended Imaginology this year. We were lucky to have 50 volunteers over the course of the weekend to engage those students. These volunteers facilitated all of the interactive activities while sharing their own passion for learning and mathematics. Some of our volunteers had previous teaching or engineering experience, and others simply wanted to spend the day doing something nice for the members of their community. No matter their background, many volunteers left the event feeling empowered by the perseverance and curiosity demonstrated by attendees.

“It’s important to volunteer at S.T.E.A.M .events like this because the knowledge and passion we share can greatly impact our community. I can see the lives we touch through the smiles on the children’s faces as they play and learn. Those children are our future.”

-Michael Lara, Volunteer

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Volunteer, Michael Lara, asks facilitating questions as two students puzzle their way through “Locked Up”

Thank you to OC Fair & Event Center for the opportunity to share the fun and beauty of mathematics at their inspiring S.T.E.A.M. event. By working together, we’re changing the way that students think and feel about math. See more photos from Imaginology 2017.

Interested in supporting MIND's mission? Want to bring the fun of Imaginology into your own classroom or home? Encourage the students in your life to participate in Game-a-thon! We're accepting submissions from K-12 students now through July 1.

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Kelsey Skaggs is the Engagement Specialist at MIND Research Institute. She enjoys showing others how fun and engaging math can be.

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