Buckeye Aha! Math Moments, the Department's outreach initiative, attended Ciencias 2019. The event, organized by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), is OSU's Annual Diversity in STEM Networking Event.
We had the opportunity to connect with underrepresented minority STEM students and professionals at Ohio State. The attendees enjoyed math by engaging in solving puzzles on our table.
Cole, an Earth Sciences graduate student, said he experienced the "aha!" moment when he figured out a way of solving a puzzle. The puzzle consists of 4 knights on a 3 by 3 chessboard, two black knights on the corners of one side of the board, and two white ones on the corners of the opposing side. The goal is to move the pieces until the black ones are where the white ones were in the begining, and viceversa. Of course the pieces can only be moved following chess rules: the knight moves tracing an "L", to a square that is two squares away horizontally and one square vertically, or two squares vertically and one square horizontally.
Cole has almost given up when he saw it. He said "All pieces move in the same way, so we can circle them around until we reach the desired configuration". And he did it! Then his friend came and solved the puzzle in a different way. He then experienced a second "aha!" moment.
Other attendees solved the tangram and the soma cube. We loved sharing our passion for math with OSU students, faculty, and staff from different departments.
BAMM strives to be an inclusive program. Some of our activites target specific underrepresented minorities and most of them offer bilingual support (English/Spanish).