Math On-A-Stick


What is Math On-A-Stick?

The Minnesota State Fair has everything on a stick… even math! In this exhibit math comes to life in a photo scavenger hunt called The Number Game. Children and caregivers count their way through the fair. You’ll make shapes and patterns, look for similarities and differences, and meet visiting math artists sharing their beautiful, mathematical creations and helping you to make your own. Activities are brought to you by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

The Number Game

Pick up a Number Game card from any State Fair Information Booth or download one here. As you explore the fairgrounds, notice sets of things: A corn dog has 1 stick, a cow has 4 legs, the Ferris Wheel has 20 carts. Keep track of the sets you find on your game card. You can also take pictures and share these with the appropriate #numbersatthefair hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Bring your completed card to Math on a Stick in Baldwin Park to claim your prize!

Activity Tables

Visitors have hands-on shape, number and patterning fun by playing together at activity tables that include colorful rectangular tiles, tiles shaped like turtles and lizards, and colorful eggs by the 2\frac{1}{2} dozen. Play Pattern Machines, get your hands on the Spiral Machine, or hop on the Stepping Stones. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the Fair to enjoy a shapes book or a counting book together.

Visiting Mathematicians and Mathematical Artists

Each day features a different activity led by a mathematician or artist who uses math in their work. Join us on multiple days to see what’s new.


Do you want suggestions for additional ways to play with math beyond the Fair? Do you have a question you’ve always wanted to ask a math teacher or mathematician, but you’ve been afraid to ask? Do you have a math accomplishment to share and need an enthusiastic audience? Stop by and chat. We’re here all 12 days of fun, ending Labor Day!

How can I help?

By volunteering. Sign up on our volunteer website [goes live mid-April 2021]. Then we’ll be in touch in early August with the information you’ll need for your shift(s) and with your tickets to the Fair. Most shifts are 3 hours. The earliest is at 8:30 a.m.; the latest finishes at 8:15 p.m.

By spreading the word. Share the link to this page, and to our volunteer website [live in mid-April 2021] with the people in your life.

By contributing. We are funded by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) organization with education as an important part of its mission. Financial contributions to the Foundation support our work. Contacting them with gratitude for funding the work goes a long way as well.

Who operates Math On-A-Stick?

Math On-A-Stick is an official event of the Minnesota State Fair, run with funds from the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.

The Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics provides many volunteer hours, and general volunteer coordination, and organizational support.

Talking Math with Your Kids and Public Math provide creative services.

We would love to recognize your organization for providing volunteer hours! Get in touch for details if you’d like to join the likes of Desmos, CPM, and the Adult Numeracy Network, who have each sponsored a day of volunteers at Math On-A-Stick.

Got questions?

Ask them here. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can.

See you at the Fair!