MathTalk is Math Fun in Underinvested Communities (Cambridge, MA)

“Math is everywhere”. But for some children it’s just inside the school building.

“Math should also be fun”. For children in underserved communities, math can be a source of anxiety for them and their caregivers.  How do we help children bring math into their everyday lives and make it fun and accessible to all?

Enter, MathTalk.

Founded by Omo Moses in 2018, MathTalk grew out of more than 30 years of Omo’s experience teaching math in public schools and in communities across America. His journey began with his father, Bob Moses, the iconic field secretary in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and founder of the Algebra Project, who worked tirelessly in classrooms in underserved neighborhoods to ensure his students, including his children, achieved the high math proficiency that would prepare them for responsible participation in civic and political life.

Guided by his father’s vision and by the research that established a strong positive correlation between pre-K math proficiency and success in adult life, Omo created MathTalk, a platform that combines easily accessible physical installations with an AR-powered digital app to create “fun math moments” in the community. MathTalk provides tools that empower educators and caregivers to reimagine math learning outside of the classroom. The platform is a resource that gives young children the opportunity to explore math in their communities on their own terms, unencumbered by the guardrails of the classroom.

Children may not see or appreciate how much math helps our everyday lives. MathTalk gives families math prompts to bring the love of math to young children simply through walking, waiting, and observing. MathTalk asks, “How can we create math learning spaces where people gather that are fun, original, and use cutting-edge technology?”

MathTalk’s Gigantic Number Line is a popular installation painted on the ground inside and outside children’s gathering spaces such as schools, libraries, and playgrounds. It encourages children to use their whole body to see and feel numbers relative to each other.

MathTalk’s most popular digital tool is Measure Everything! app, available for download in the App Store. It leverages the power of augmented reality (AR) to invite children to experience math in playful and fun ways that interact with their physical environments, including the Gigantic Number Line!

MathTalk is an educational toolkit for partners, teachers, and citywide institutions to enhance learning. Its learning lab and largest physical installation, is the Bob Moses Trail, in Cambridge, MA in honor of the visionary who started the work. The work continues as MathTalk brings its tools to Georgia, Chicago, Illinois and California.

LEAF has been privileged to provide support to MathTalk through advisory services and capital.