Approximately 80 people attended the “Chicago” edition of Celebration of Mind II on the evening of October 21, 2011, at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, IL. The event was hosted by Max Railing, a junior at the high school.
Max has attended 5 G4Gs (since he was 7 years old) – and had a wealth of information and items to display about Martin Gardner. His father is a highly regarded close-up magician and book collector who has an extensive collection of many books and items relating to Gardner. Max borrowed freely from this collection to host the Celebration Party.
Two mechanical puzzle collectors – Norman Sandfield and Bill Cutler – displayed a range of wonderful puzzles from their collections. Max arranged several dozen tables with activities, books, and assorted items relating to Martin Gardner’s interests. Max’s classmates from the National Honor Society assisted with the displays.
There were various displays of optical illusions and recreational math items that Martin wrote about. In addition, there were tables displaying the various categories of books from Martin’s vast output: Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland; literature (Ancient Mariner and Casey at the Bat), relativity, skepticism and puzzles. There was a Zome activity table with geometric bubbles.
There were 40 other displays along with copies of the associated “Mathematical Games” articles from Scientific American. In part, these included Hexaflexagons, Mandelbrot’s fractals, Anamorphic Art and the art of Escher, Polynominoes, Magic Squares, Tangrams, Conway’s Game of Life, Soma Cube, Topology and the Klein Bottle, the Ambigrams of Scott Kim, the Rising Hourglass Mystery, Raymond Smullyan’s logic puzzles, Geometric Vanishes, Origami, Packing Puzzles, Rubik’s Cube, Science Toys, the optical effects from Jerry Andrus, the game of Nim, Sam Loyd’s puzzles, and many more.
After 90 minutes of viewing the displays, the attendees moved to the high school auditorium for the Evening Magic Show that was preceded by a short introduction to mechanical puzzles presented by Norm Sandfield. Max introduced the 5 magicians who amazed the student attendees and their families.
Max took the initiative to orchestrate the Celebration of Mind party and asked a couple of his instructors to be his sponsors for the event to be held at the school. The math and science teachers were very supportive, as well as the principal, Dan Krause. The venue was ideal with tables arranged in an open area (the “commons”) adjacent to the auditorium. It was a family event, with kids of all ages attending. The hands-on activities and displays captivated everyone, as can be seen in the photos.
Max is already planning the next Celebration of Mind event for October 2012.
Max Railing, the host of Celebration of Mind party at Willowbrook High School.
Max thanking the attendees and introducing the Evening Magic Show in the auditorium.
Norm Sandfield and his puzzles.
Kids trying to solve mechanical puzzles while Norm looks on.
Geometric vanishes (that Gardner wrote about in Mathematics Magic and Mystery)
The Klein bottle
Bill Cutler shares part of his extensive mechanical puzzle collection
An impossible object (the famous wooden arrow-thru-the-bottle)
Kids of all ages enjoy Escher, the hour glass mystery, polynominoes and puzzles
Soma Cube, packing puzzles, magic squares, fractals, and more
Hands-on construction with the Zome activity table
Zome geometric construction
Anamorphic art and science toys