Contacts For Hands on Maths

This section is aimed at people with an interest in the learning of mathematics who want to see manipulatives and interactives, if used at all, used well, typically:

  • Parents or grandparents looking for toys with some value
  • Teachers wondering whether (or not) to buy apparatus for their classrooms
  • Museum professionals planning a hands-on maths gallery or a series of hands-on maths workshops (but open to the suggestion that they might present the subject ‘mathematics’ in other ways)

The subject of this website is hands-on maths. But teachers of mathematics at all levels start with the question: ‘How can I present [probability]?’, not ‘How can I use [interlocking cubes] to present [probability]?’. Hence the inclusion of categories coded P in the following list where the emphasis is on the mathematics, however presented, not the apparatus. (See also the section Your maths lab on this site.)


Under some of these headings we attempt world coverage. Under others we only try to cover the British scene. The rest are represented by single exemplars or some general remark and are omitted from the database following. But we hope to have instanced enough kinds of activity that you, in your own country, will seek something comparable there. Database headings are CAPITALISED.

The categories are not independent. A regional science festival invariably involves the local science centre and university.

A word about the exhibitions: these are specifically hands-on and explicitly mathematics. Not included therefore are mathematics exhibitions without a hands-on component and those containing interactives not primarily designed to exhibit a mathematical concept. (Mathematics is present in all hands-on science exhibitions – but implicitly.)

Apparatus supplier

A number are listed under the relevant station in the section Magic Manual on this site.
Almost all suppliers have a website and an Internet search will tell you what’s available and at what price.
Don’t forget e-Bay.



Hands-on maths publisher: exemplar

Tarquin Publications ( specialises in hands-on maths books.

Since they are invariably well illustrated, hands-on maths books from publishers outside the English-speaking world may be accessible to you even if you lack the relevant language. There are many in German, for example.

Maths club, school: remark

All over the world keen teachers run out-of-hours clubs where the children do hands-on work for which there isn’t otherwise the space and time. Some of what they do finds its way on to the school’s own website, or into a YouTube clip.
Please bring to our attention anything you think would be of interest to someone visiting our site.

Maths club, Internet: exemplar (P)

Arguably the world’s most important Internet maths club for schoolchildren is that based in Cambridge and falling under the Millennium Mathematics Project:


Select your own language from the drop-down menu. But be aware of the limitations of Google Translate.

Maths magazine, printed: exemplar, U.K. (P)

All professional associations publish journals for their membership. The Mathematical Association also issues a magazine for children:Symmetry+. The general readership is best served by mathematics articles in magazines devoted to science in general and the puzzle pages of newspapers.

Maths magazine, Internet: exemplars (P)

Aimed at sixth-formers and undergraduates, is another initiative of the Millennium Mathematics Project:

Plus (

The following comes from Queen Mary College, University of London:

cs4fn (computer science for fun). Hands-on interest centres on the ‘magic’ topics (

Maths trail: exemplars, U.K.

The ultimate in ‘hands-on’: when you embark on a maths trail, the multisensory environment is total.

The ‘city’ there is the City of London, but M3 (see on) do the same for Oxford.




Science festival: exemplar, U.K. (P)

If you don’t know what your regional science festival offers and when it takes place, simply google suitable words.
A good programme will be subject-indexed and you can look for ‘maths’. If the local science centre is involved, there is likely to be a hands-on component. The biggest festivals, like the Edinburgh International, are active round the year, not just through the particular calendar weeks thus dedicated. They may have commercial sponsors and other ways to generate income, but here is one supported by the Higher Education Funding Council under a scheme to attract more school leavers into higher education:

NRICH Headquarters:
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
University of Cambridge
Wilberforce Road

For primary enquiries:
For secondary enquiries:
For post-16 enquiries:
For STEM enquiries:
For postcards:
For everything else:

For general and events-related enquiries:
Kerstin Enright on 01223 766839 or Margaret Bull on 01223 764777

BTIN (Bath Taps INto Science):

University outreach scheme: exemplar, U.K. (P)

For background to the above scheme go to:



A continuous spectrum runs from a ‘workshop’, where all the participants carry out practical activities, through a ‘lecture with audience participation’, where a small number help the presenter with a demonstration, to a ‘performance’. We explain above why we include sessions where no apparatus is used at all. All the people listed are there because they address school or lay adult audiences.

Other commitments allowing, these people generally tour within their own country but accept invitations from abroad.

Presenters who work with children almost invariably work also with their parents and teachers, and with the general public.

We list individuals but add the codes beneath to show that they are part of a community. Think of the names therefore as nodes in a network. Contact any one and you will be referred to most of the others (and people not on our list who should be). We are equally sure that this will be the case whichever country you live in. The codes only identify the groups/projects/institutions they belong to formally: if you like, they show their nearest neighbours in the net, (and, even in the field of the public understanding of mathematics, one person may belong to several groups beyond those listed here).

We hope you want to experience these workshops and lectures live. But many of these people also contribute to radio and T.V. series, issue video footage via YouTube or their own sites and write books.

MB Maths Busking
MI Maths Inspiration
M3 Marcus’ Marvellous Mathemagicians
MMP Millennium Mathematics Project
G Gresham College Professor
L LMS Holgate Lecturer
R Royal Institution Professor
U University (named), project (named)

Links within each of the above groups will also take you to the member. Where there is no link below, take that route.

For the Royal Institution mathematics masterclasses, given at centres all over the U.K. at both primary and secondary level, go and under ‘Education’ click on ‘maths’.

The disyllable ‘magic’ occurs in many entries. Physical apparatus may be used to support your intuitions – or confound them. Either way, it should make you think. If we guarantee anything, it is that these people will do that.

Exhibition for Hire Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Geometry Playground + Geometry Garden USA Exploratorium
Measure Island Australia Questacon
Techniquest Maths Kit Wales contact@
Hands-on Maths Centre Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Mathematikum Giessen, Germany albrecht.beutelspacher@
Museum of Mathematics New York
Roadshow Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
FunMaths Roadshow Tours U.K. marchant@
Hands-on Maths Roadshow Tours UK mmp@
Millennium Mathematics Project
Math Midway Tours USA
Mathematik zum Anfassen Tours internationally Mathematikum
Maths in a Suitcase Tours U.K. svanzeller@
Symmetry, Mirror Games Tours Portugal atractor@
The Atractor Group
Tenix Questacon Maths Squad Tours Australia Questacon
The Magic Mathworks Travelling Circus Tours internationally stephenson@
There are three main collections of apparatus stationed respectively at: Böhmerstraße 66, Essen, Germany; Lifetime Lab, Cork, Eire; George Eliot School, Nuneaton
Science Centre Gallery Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Deutsches Museum Mathematisches Kabinett Munich, Germany
Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin:
Spectrum (stations within)
Berlin, Germany
Science Park Galilei (stations within)
Vantaa, Finland
Math Space Vienna, Austria
Palais de la découverte Paris, France
Symmetry, Mirror Games Porto, Portugal
Technorama MatheMagie Winterthur, Switzerland
The Experimentarium: Mathematics Hellerup, Denmark
The Exploratorium (stations within) San Francisco, U.S.A
Science Centre Programme Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Life Newcastle, England In-house: Mathstastic
Math Space Vienna, Austria info@
Techniquest In-house: Mathemagic
TQG Outreach: The Cirque du Maths
Websites for builders of mathematical models Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Dave Mitchell
John Sharp
Math Monday
The Bridges Organisation Go to ‘Galleries’ for something to aspire to.
The Geometry Garret
Workshop Location e-mail Parent organisation / notes
Alan Davies U (Hertfordshire)
Andrew Jeffrey
Ben Sparks MB, MI
Caoline Ainslie (‘Bubblz’)
Caroline Series U (Warwick)
Chris Budd L, MI, R, U (Bath)
Claire Ellis MI
Colin Wright MI
Colva Roney-Dougal U (St Andrews)
Cyril Isenberg C.Isenberg@
U (Kent)
David Abrahams MB, U (Manchester)
David Acheson MI, U (Oxford)
David Schley MB, Institute of Animal Health
David Spiegelhalter MI, MMP, U (Cambridge)
Dorothy Buck U (Imperial)
Doug Williams (Mathematics Task Centre Project)
Ed McCann MI
Helen Byrne U (Oxford)
Helen Pilcher MI
Hilary Costello MI, U (Cambridge)
Hilary Weller U (Reading)
Hugh Hunt MI, U (Cambridge)
Ian Stewart U (Warwick)
James Blowey L, U (Durham)
James Grime MMP, U (Cambridge)
Jane Wright U (Bath)
John Barrow G, U (Cambridge)
John Roberts MI, U (Manchester)
Julia Collins U (Edinburgh)
Kate Bellingham MI
Katie Chicot MI, U (Open)
Katie Steckles MB
Kevin Houston L, U (Leeds)
Kjartan Poskitt (‘Murderous Maths’)
Marcus du Sautoy M3 (founder), U (Oxford)
Mark Biddiss (‘The Mathemagical Workshop’)
Mark Lewney MI
Matt Parker (‘Stand-up Maths’) MB, MI, U (QMC)
Mike Fletcher MI
Mike Spivey L, U (Oxford)
Paul Shepherd MI, U (Bath)
Peter McOwan U (QMC)
Reidun Twarock U (York)
Richard Lissamann MI
Rob Eastaway MI (founder)
Sara Santos MB
Simon Singh MI
Steve Humble (‘Dr Maths’) MB
Steve Mould MI
Sue Rowe MI
Thomas Woolley M3
Tom Korner G, U (Oxford)
Tom Noddy

Help us to extend and update this list (last revised 1st March, 2012)
Tell us about an exhibition you have visited and enjoyed which is not here. Let us know of any inaccuracies and outdated entries by e-mailing us at the address below.
Full contact details can be found on our contact page.

Published by makingpi

Our interest is to create a brilliant practical applied maths programme for teaching students who struggle with engaging in Maths. Our interests range from building bridges to making beautiful silver objects.

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