Julia Robinson Festival Retrospective

March 29, 2012

It was the culmination of a lot of work, and now it’s over. The conclusion: Seattle’s first Julia Robinson Festival was amazing. We had 150 students and 50 volunteers working on compelling activities for almost three hours followed by the dynamic Nickolai Pirak explaining (and demonstrating!) the mathematics of juggling.

For us, it was a very satisfying conclusion to a lot of preparation. Our plan from here is to make this an annual event, so keep your eyes open next year for the 2nd annual Julia Robinson Festival in Seattle!

That’s enough from us, though. Here’s what it looked like, and what attendees had to say:

“Our sons came home excited and jabbering away about the different activities. It was a great way for them to extend their math learning in a rare non-competitive way. We’d love to participate in future events.”

“Just a quick note to say — what an AWESOME job of preparation and coordination at this event. Even my kids were talking about it on the way home. And of course the content was interesting and fun. Thanks much!”

“Great festival! We’d love to see it take place every year. There are lots of math-minded families in this area which would appreciate it!”

“Could you make it longer next year? My son could have gone another hour easily ???? Thrilled that you’re doing this!!!!”

“I had no idea what to expect and was so very impressed by this! I teach math in a constructivist way and loved how the mentors at each table let the kids puzzle and sit in disequilibrium, giving gentle hints when needed. The math challenges were awesome — and I loved how the table mentors were genuinely excited about math. I also enjoyed the “keynote speaker” i.e. the juggler. The morning passed very quickly!”

“Please make this an annual event!”

“Thank you for organizing this, it was an terrific event. We will come again next year and look forward to more Math4Love events.”

“From a fourth grade girl: ‘Awesome, would like to go again!’”

A huge thank you to MSRI, to the Evergreen School, to Greg Piper, Josh Zucker, and all our amazing volunteers, and to the Robinson Center, for helping financially, logistically, and doing all you did to make the festival a success!

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