Melissa Preece, Domenic Altieri, L.M., and Brile Anderson.

University of Waterloo - KIX-2011
Ontario, Canada
Using the ISRM Slide Rule Loaner Program
Contact: Melissa Preece

The 2011 Knowledge Integration Museum Exhibition

The Knowledge Integration program at the University of Waterloo is about understanding d isciplinary differences, design as a framework for solving complex problems, and collaboration. The design of museum exhibits is a practice requiring interdisciplinary teamwork combined with academic rigour. To demonstrate interdisciplinarity in action and practice applied knowledge integration, groups of students in the program build a museum exhibit in their third year. From March 14 to March 16, this exhibition will be on display in the University of Waterloo Art Gallery in East Campus Hall. Exhibits cover the range of biology, technology, history, art, mathematics and discovery. Come learn about the topics, learn about Knowledge Integration, and see what our students have created.

Melissa Preece, a student at the University of Waterloo (UW) contacted ISRM in order to obtain slide rules for a hands-on KIX-2011 exhibit for the KI Museum Exhibition. Melissa's team included fellow students Domenic Altieri, L.M. and Brile Anderson.

Here is their write up for the attraction:

The Limitations and Development of Mathematical Instruments is an exhibit that takes you, the visitor, on a tour describing three instruments that changed the math world and our everyday lives. On your journey, you will be exposed to the abacus, the slide rule, and the calculator. For each instrument, you will learn a piece of their history, how to use the instrument, and their major limitations.

In each section, you will have the opportunity to experiment with each instrument and to solve representative math problems. This will give you an opportunity to experience the tools, functions and limitations firsthand. We hope you will leave with a better understanding of how the functions, and limitations, of math instruments play a role in our everyday world and an understanding of how the limitations of different math tools led to the development of new ones.

Museum Exhibit Design & Knowledge Integration

As part of their studies in the Bachelor of Knowledge Integration program at the University of Waterloo, students enroll in the Museum Course. Students travel to a museum city to immerse themselves in museums and museum culture, and on their return they spend seven months applying what they've learned on the field trip and in museum-focused design courses. The result is a challenging group project combining research, design, classroom and self-directed learning, project management, and physical build skills. The museum exhibits the students have researched, designed and built are an opportunity to do applied knowledge integration and to explore the unique and rewarding challenge of designing a real-world, hands-on learning experience that is open to the public.The exhibits in this year's show cover a range of topics from across the arts, sciences, engineering, and history.

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