Looking for a fun adventure with the kids? Arizona Science Center has a summer exhibition called Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature that will be here through September 4. Kids of all ages will love getting lost in an elaborate mirror maze, part of the immersive new exhibition that showcases the mathematical patterns that exist all around us.
The showcase of the exhibit is, of course, the maze itself. I had the opportunity to explore the mirror maze when it first opened, and I must say I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time.
Maybe it’s because of the hard work of the guy meticulously wiping all the mirrors with Windex, but I could not tell what a mirror was and what was a maze opening. After circling through the elaborate pattern multiple times with my arm held straight out in front of me for protection, while simultaneously cracking up, I finally found my way to the exit.
While you’re in the maze, take the time to appreciate the beauty of the patterns, lit by changing colored lights. Keep an eye on floor decals marking “selfie spots.” (Lots of opportunities for Insta-worthy photos, so make the teens get off Fortnite and join you for a trip downtown!) The entire maze includes 1,800 sq. ft. of repeating mirrors, but it feels like it goes on forever.
Outside the mirror maze, the interactive learning continues.
An immersive video presentation shows how math surrounds us every day, illustrated with stunning footage of nature, the human body, art and architecture. Animated computer graphics are superimposed over the images to reveal the mathematical patterns beneath these familiar objects.
Kid-friendly stations let guests put their knowledge to the test, identifying patterns that surround them every day and creating numerical patterns of their own on digital screens. They can manipulate images of snowflakes, sea shells, flowers and more, as well as create a numerical sequence to understand how a pattern is generated from repeating a simple set of rules.
The exhibition features an array of artifacts showcasing patterns in nature such as a beautiful anthill mold created by pouring aluminum into an actual anthill, a honeycomb and bighorn sheep antlers. Other areas show the similarities in patterns found in nature and in the human body, such as the human lungs and ocean coral.
An interactive mirror measures guests’ height and wingspan, superimposing measurement lines, a la Leonardo da Vinci. Did you know the average height to wingspan proportion is approximately one to one? (Michael Phelps has a wingspan three inches longer than his height, which seems to have worked out okay for him.)
Guests can purchase tickets online at azscience.org, or in person at Arizona Science Center. The price for Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature exhibition tickets is $8.95 for non-members (adults and children) and $6.95 for members (adults and children). Exhibition requires purchase of general admission ticket. If you plan to return for multiple visits, check out an Arizona Science Center family membership which includes extras like guest passes, two tickets to the monthly Science with A Twist adults-only event, and a discount on the variety of “making experiences” such as 3D printing and laser cutting to woodworking and sewing available at the CREATE maker space.