Tag Archives: creative expression

Celebrate Pi Day with Special Edition MOXI at Home Party Kit

It may have started as a way for staff at a San Francisco museum to bond, but Pi Day has evolved and grown into a national holiday celebrated by math aficionados, educators, those with a sweet tooth and more all around the world. Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three digits of the mathematical constant, pi. MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation is marking the day this year with an exclusive at-home event kit now on sale in its online Museum Store. Kits are available for curbside pickup at the museum Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm.

The Pi Day at Home party in a box was created by MOXI staff to foster creativity and bring joy to the whole family. The kit includes everything needed to pay homage to pi, even an on-theme meal. Each kit includes: materials to make a spin art machine, a customizable Pi Day banner, rings to play ring toss, chalk for outdoor circle drawing, a laser cut spirograph plus materials to make one, and a gift certificate to Rusty’s Pizza Parlor redeemable for one large two-topping pizza pi(e) and salad. Just add enthusiasm and creativity for a well-rounded celebration. 

“The Pi Day at Home kit is a fitting way to bring the spirit of MOXI to the homes of area families for a celebration that encourages active exploration and critical thinking about the world around us,” said Robin Gose, president and CEO of MOXI. “While we of course wish we were celebrating onsite at the museum, we’ll have to wait until next March 14 for that opportunity. In the meantime, we hope this brings our fans as much joy as we experienced in creating the kits.”

The first organized celebration of Pi Day was held in 1988 at one of MOXI’s peers to the north, the Exploratorium in San Francisco. They marked it with a circular parade and eating of fruit pies, and it has since grown into a big annual tradition for staff and the public as well as a worldwide cultural phenomenon. MOXI has previously marked the day with making activities at the museum, but needed to pivot this year’s celebration given the museum’s ongoing closure due to COVID-19.

While the doors to its building at 125 State Street in Santa Barbara remain closed due to state and county health orders, MOXI staff have been working hard to ensure opportunities for creative discovery and exploration continue with its MOXI at Home programs, online museum store, and just announced virtual field trip programs. Virtual Design Lab programs are now open for registration by classrooms, homeschool groups and learning pods for students in kindergarten through 6th grade. These virtual field trips are facilitated live from the museum by MOXI education team staff and introduce the engineering design process by posing a challenge related to one of MOXI’s exhibits for students to solve.

As the museum nears almost one full year of being closed, it faces significant financial challenges due to loss of revenue from admissions, membership, programs and facility rentals during the ongoing closure. Proceeds from all MOXI at Home programs and online store sales, including the Pi Day kit, support the museum’s mission to ignite learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity and help to ensure MOXI will be a viable resource for the greater Santa Barbara region for years to come. Rusty’s Pizza Parlor is a proud sponsor of Pi Day at Home. 

Pi Day at Home kits are $70 with a 10% discount available to MOXI Members. All orders must be placed online at www.moxi.org/store. Any questions can be directed to info@moxi.org. Once purchased, kits are available for contactless, curbside pickup at MOXI, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. A limited quantity of kits are available and must be purchased by noon on Friday, March 12 to pick up in time for a proper March 14 celebration. 

About MOXI

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation® is dedicated to igniting learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s redeveloped tourist area at 125 State Street, the museum is LEED-certified Gold and serves guests of all ages through its engaging exhibits and education programs. MOXI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization generously supported by its daily guests, members, facility rentals and donations from individuals, foundations and corporate partners. For more information, visit moxi.org.

Creating a Community of Heroic Youth

In April of 1999, two high school seniors walked onto the campus of Columbine High School in Colorado with semi-automatic weapons and proceeded to kill 12 of their classmates and one teacher. 

The tragedy sparked incredible action and lasting change 1,000 miles away in Santa Barbara. That summer two local therapists and educators – Jennifer Freed and Rendy Freedman – experimented with a mix of social-emotional learning and creative expression to show that it is much harder to harm someone if you know who they are. 

The pair and some very underpaid staff led 20 teenagers through a series of exercises that brought the group closer together. AHA! – Attitude, Harmony, Achievement – was born. 

With the novel mission of inspiring communities to feel safe, seen, celebrated, and emotionally connected, AHA! has – over its 22 years – steadily equipped teenagers and educators with social-emotional intelligence to dismantle apathy, prevent despair, and interrupt hate-based behavior.

In 2008, Carpinteria High School was experiencing conflict between Latinos and White surfers. “The parents recognized that there needed to be some type of intervention,” says AHA! co-founder Jennifer Freed. 

That year, Freed, Freedman, and AHA!’s growing team of facilitators introduced a 10-week “seminar” that touched every Carpinteria High School freshman. AHA! staff visited freshman classrooms weekly, delivering a curriculum that focused on emotion management, prejudice reduction, empathy, celebration of difference, and compassion. Through small group discussions and exercises, AHA! facilitators knitted classrooms and campuses together to improve climate and reduce ostracism and bullying.

The results were stunning, as they have been everywhere AHA! has set up shop since. Suspensions went down by 70%, students’ feeling of hope jumped up by 50%, and test scores increased by an average of 11%. 

“The only thing that breaks down prejudice is getting to know people,” Freed says. “It’s all about getting to know the person next to you instead of staring straight ahead.” 

 In two decades, AHA! has brought social-emotional learning to 25,000 students throughout Santa Barbara and Carpinteria middle and high schools, while training 2,000 educators and supporting 2,500 parents. 

Every year, the organization steadily provides in- and after-school programming to more than 2,000 young people, while training upwards of 350 area educators and scores of bilingual parents and guardians.

The result: armies of young people equipped with the social and emotional intelligence to dismantle racism while creating harmony in their communities and inside themselves.