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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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An SDSU CRMSE student works with local children at the 2013 Science Expo. An SDSU CRMSE student works with local children at the 2013 Science Expo.

Informath Combines Art, Science

A prestigious grant will allow an SDSU program to explore innovative ways to teach math.
By Clarissa Slagle

The National Science Foundation has awarded San Diego State University’s Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education and the Balboa Park Learning Institute a four-year, $1.5 million grant that will start an initiative called the InforMath Collaborative.  

The program will bring together university researchers and staff from multiple Balboa Park museums to design and implement new programs that connect visitors with mathematics in creative ways.

“We want to show people that math can be fun and integrated everywhere,” said Molly Kelton, co-director of the collaborative and CRMSE researcher. “Most people don’t think of math as creative and we want to dispel that stereotype.”

Bringing art and science together

The program is set to begin in mid–March, with pilot programs the public will be able to participate in. From these programs, researchers will be able to review and analyze data to prepare for a more extensive launch in September 2014.

“We are really excited to get to work with all the different museums in Balboa,” Kelton said. “We are looking forward to bringing art and science education together for these museums."

Participating museums include the Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the Natural History Museum. 

“This is the first large-scale, multi-institution initiative of its kind giving mathematics, science and art professionals an opportunity to learn from each other and together come up with new and more expansive ways to draw the community into the park,” said Lisa Silagyi, director of the Balboa Park Learning Institute. 


The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) is an interdisciplinary community of scholars who are advancing mathematics and science education at local, state and national levels. The center supports collaboration between faculty in the College of Sciences and College of Education at San Diego State University. Members of the center are engaged in research, curriculum development and dissemination, publications, presentations and leadership roles in the San Diego community.

About Balboa Park Learning Institute

The Balboa Park Learning Institute is a professional education program and learning community for staff and volunteers in arts, science and cultural institutions. It was launched by the 27-member institutions of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership in 2008 as part of collaborative efforts to achieve greater organizational efficiency, innovation and excellence.