Year 1 project HIGHLIGHTS

St. Phillip's School and Community Center students talk about math around the school.

Dallas Zoo expert explains math walks taken by students!


The Texas Informal Science Education Association hosted its 2022 annual meeting in March 2022. TalkSTEM held a panel discussion including partner site representatives from the Mathfinder project - Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Arboretum, Frontiers of Flight Museum, and Girl Scouts STEM Center of Excellence.

#Mathfinder Festival 2022

In the months of April and May, talkSTEM teamed up with Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to make Mathfinder a reality to celebrate Math Awareness Month. Individuals could show that math is alive and present in their favorite places and activities. Engaging activities were organized across partner sites, and several included app-based, GPS-enabled tours created through our partnership with Otocast, an app-based audio and visual tour platform, making our content more accessible than ever!


Math is everywhere in the world, but youth may see math as disconnected from their everyday experiences and wonder how math is relevant to their lives. There is evidence that informal math done by children is highly effective, involving efficiency, flexibility, and socializing. Yet, more is needed to understand how educators can support math engagement outside of school, and the role these out-of-school experiences can play relative to the classroom and lifelong STEM learning. This Innovations and Development Project seeks to conduct research on a location-based mobile app for informal mathematics learning.

This research takes place at 9 informal learning sites and involves iteratively designing an app in which learners can view and contribute to an interactive map of math walk “stops” at these sites. Learners will be able to select locations and watch short videos or view pictures with text that describe how mathematical principles are present in their surroundings. For example, learners could use the app to discover how a painting by a local Latino artist uses ratio and scale, or how a ramp downtown was designed with a specific slope to accommodate wheelchairs.

Research studies will examine the affordances of augmented reality (AR) overlays where learners can hold up the camera of their mobile device, and see mathematical representations (e.g., lines, squares) layered over real-world objects in their camera feed. Research studies will also examine the impact of having learners create their own math walk stops at local informal learning sites, uploading pictures, descriptions, and linking audio they narrate, where they make observations about how math appears in their surroundings and pose interesting questions about STEM ideas and connections they wonder about.


National Science Foundation

Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to an evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments. Read the full NSF AISL award abstract here. To find out more information about the AISL program and resources for informal STEM learning, go to


walkSTEM is an initiative developed by Dr. Koshi Dhingra and Dr. Glen Whitney, founder of the National Museum of Mathematics. "Math walks” are fun experiences that highlight real-world, inquiry-based connections to real world objects and spaces. talkSTEM is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to empower all children from all income levels, ethnicities, and genders to see STEM not merely as a set of school-based subjects communicated through lectures and tests, but as a fluid and intriguing part of their daily lives, experiences, and environments. Learn more here.


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