MATH & SCIENCE DAYS TO CELEBRATE
Updated: May 12, 2022
Celebrating birthdays of the great mathematicians and scientists as well as the national and global days related with math & science can motivate kids by increasing their science literacy and their engagement to the content.
Click here for the calendar posters.
Those celebrations can be used as
an exciting start (warm-up) for that day’s lesson.
a part of math & science club curriculum.
a long-term project topic for kids to complete and create a math/science calendar.
a collaborative class project for the first lesson of each month.
4th of January: Sir Isaac Newton's birthday
English physicist and mathematician, who was the culminating figure of the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century
27th of January: Lewis Carroll's Birthday
The famous English author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass was also a brilliant scholar. He taught math and logic at Oxford, for many years. His real name is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898).
Here are some resources to celebrate his life;
28th of January: National Data Privacy Day
Encourage students to clean up their virtual identities and improve their online security measures and learn more about cyber safety and cyber ethics.
7th of February: e Day / Euler's Day
In mathematics, Euler's constant is the base of the logarithm and is represented by "e" which equals approximately 2.71828. This, naturally, means that Feb. 7th is "e" day –
Happy e-day from Wired: https://www.wired.com/2013/02/happy-e-day-what-is-e/
11th of February: Women in Science Day
reading the book “Women in Science” by Rachel Ignotofsky with kids,
making an exhibit from the free posters of March for Science Beyond Curie Project by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya
making an exhibit from the free posters of NASA https://chandra.harvard.edu/women/index.html#resources
List of 70 books 70 Books to Inspire Science-Loving Girls https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=13914
ordering the movie of Maryam Mizrakhani “Secrets of the Surface “ from zalafilms
12th of February: Darwin Day
The theory of evolution by natural selection that was developed by Charles Darwin revolutionized the study of living things. In his Origin of Species(1859) he provided a scientific explanation of how the diverse species of plants and animals have descended over time from common ancestors. His theory remains central to the foundations of modern biology.
14th of February: Valentines Day
Science Valentines Cards
15th of February: Galileo Galilei’s birthday
A Pioneer in Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy
See the Sector compass closer at Google Arts and Culture
19th of February: Nicolaus Copernicus's birthday
A Renaissance astronomer and mathematician who sparked the revolution in cosmology that's still going on today
Copernicus' Life by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
20 - 26 of February: Engineers Week
A week-long event that celebrates the advancements made by engineers and raises awareness of the need for skilled engineers. Global Day, a day to specifically celebrate the accomplishments of engineers, falls in this week on Feb. 24th.
2022 Theme: Reimagining the Possible
8th of March: International Women's Day and Women History Month
- Watch Secrets of Surface; Check local listings and airdates page.
- Check out the all-female version of Mathigon's timeline of mathematics.
- A must-visit blog A Mighty Girl!
14th of March: Pi Day and International Math Day
Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
The theme for the 2022 International Day of Mathematics is Mathematics Unites
18th of March: Christian Goldbach' s Birthday
18 March 1690 marks the birthday of Christian Goldbach who studied law and mathematics and best known for the conjecture he made in a letter to Euler that every even integer > 2 is a sum of two primes.
Watch Professor David Eisenbud on the famed Goldbach Conjecture on YouTube.
Try Goldbach Calculator by Mathigon
Read the book Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis
More on Goldbach Conjecture on AoPS
22nd of March: World Water Day
World Water Day 2020, on 22 March, is about water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked.
28th of March: Earth Hour
Started by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment, engaging millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories. It has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people.
Watch the video "Rock the World" on YouTube
31st of March: Descartes' Birthday
The first modern philosopher is also famous for having made an important connection between geometry and algebra, which allowed for the solving of geometrical problems by way of algebraic equations.
15th of April: Leonardo Da Vinci's Birthday
Several activities, projects, tasks can be done about Da Vinci, understanding his vision and polymath personality is very important in STEAM education. There will be a detailed Da Vinci Section at funmathfan. Coming Soon ..
22nd of April: Earth Day
04.22.2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. Since Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, rivers so polluted they literally caught fire. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.
25th of April: DNA Day
National DNA Day is a holiday celebrated on April 25. It commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA.
April 27-May 3, 2020 Astronomy Week
30th of April: Gauss' Birthday
German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss was so proficient at mathematics that he is considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He was also talented in other subjects, including cartography, physics, and planetary astronomy
4th of May: STAR WARS Day
May the Fourth Be with You!
Here is a list of math&science activities you can use for Star Wars Day.
11th of May: Salvador Dali's and Richard Feynman's Birthdays
Salvador Dali and Mathematics http://mathematics-in-europe.eu/?p=966
Richard P. Feynman Biographical by the Nobel Prize
12th of May: Women in Mathematics Day (Birthday of Maryam Mirzakhani)
May 12 was chosen for the Celebration of Women in Mathematics because it is the birthdate of Maryam Mirzakhani.
Watch a 5-min Maryam Mirzakhani documentary by the Simons Foundation and International Mathematical Union.
Read the touching tribute by Stanford University for Maryam Mirzakhani and learn about her latest works.
Visit the Committee for Women in Mathematics page.
It is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale
Visit the page "FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE: THE PIONEER STATISTICIAN" by the Science Museum UK to learn more about how she used the data to save more lives.
Watch Florence Nightingale: Joy of Stats by the Open University
A must-visit blog A Mighty Girl!
18th of May: Bertrand Russell's Birthday
The British philosopher, mathematician, author and Nobel Prize Winner (Literature) Bertrand Russell's birthday can be used to introduce Paradoxes.
Visit https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/russell-paradox/ and watch the video from Up and Atom about Russell's Paradox
5th of June: World Environment Day
United Nations leads the organizations and celebrations of WED to encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment with a different theme every year since 1974.
Visit the official website https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day
2020 theme of WED: Time for Nature - Biodiversity (You can also take the quiz on UN's webpage about biodiversity)
2019 theme of WED: Beat Air Pollution
8th of June: World Oceans Day
Around 70% of Earth's surface is covered with oceans. But understanding the right amount of water, we need to calculate the volume of the water not the surface area.
Watch the video "All the Water on Earth" to raise awareness for the oceans.
Click here for the SA:V poster.
You can plan your own event as well as joining one nearby to support the World Oceans Day.
Visit the official website http://www.worldoceansday.org/
13th of June: Nash's Birthday
Celebrate the life of the only person who received both the Nobel Prize and Abel Prize.
2015 Abel Prize is for his seminal work in partial differential equations and the 1994 Nobel Prize is for his work in economics.
Watch the movie "The Beautiful Mind" where Nash is portrayed by Russel Crowe. The Movie is mostly concentrated on his contributions to Game theory and Economics.
Some videos to check out about Game Theory and Prisoner's Dilemma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHS-htjGgSY by SciShow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-D5yoknywM by Up and Atom
17th of June: M.C. Escher's Birthday
The Dutch artist Escher is one of the symbols of math and art intersection. He is particularly famous with his tessellations, polyhedra drawings, hyperbolic geometry, or impossible shapes.
There is an Escher Museum in DenHag / Holland which displays the great examples of his work.
You can visit the Museum's Website and have a VR tour to see some of Escher's great work.
19th of June: Blaise Pascal's Birthday
He invented one of the first mechanical calculators when he was still a teenager, worked on geometry, probability, physics and theology, and is remembered for naming Pascal’s Triangle
23rd of June: Alan Turing's Birthday
As one of the most outstanding people in human history, British Mathematician Alan Turing is also a computer scientist, philosopher, code-breaker. His 1950 paper on 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ gave birth to todays' concepts of AI and machine learning.
Visit the website of Alan Turing Institute in UK.
You may also watch the 2014 Movie "The Imitation Game" based on the biography of Alan Turing: The Enigma.
28th of June: Happy Perfect Number Day!
Perfect numbers are defined as positive integers that are equal to the sum of all their positive divisors except themselves. 6 = 1+2+3 and 28 = 1+2+4+7+14
Visit the Mathigon's Perfect number chapter to learn about the perfect numbers.
1st of July: Leibniz's Birthday
The Universal Genius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, invented calculus (together with Newton) as well as mechanical calculators, and he was a prominent German polymath and one of the most important logicians, mathematicians and natural philosophers of the Enlightenment.
You may watch the video by Crash Course ''Newton vs Leibniz"
22nd of July: 22/7 Pi Approximation Day
If 14th of March is not enough for you to celebrate Pi, you may continue to celebrate on the best approximation day too.
You may watch the video by Draw Curiosity about the different approximations of Pi.
4th of August: John Venn's Birthday
English mathematician and logician John Venn was born in 1834. He is especially famous for introducing the "Venn diagrams" used in set theory and logic. Venn Diagram uses circles to visually and logically sort groups to illustrate their relationships to each other.
8th of September: Marin Mersenne's Birthday
Although he was a famous polymath contributed many different fields from math to music, he is best known with his discovery about prime numbers. Mersenne Primes are the numbers that can be written in the form Mn = 2^n − 1 where n is a prime.
The first four Mersenne primes are M2 = 3, M3 = 7, M5 = 31 and M7 = 127.
You can visit the website https://www.mersenne.org/ and join the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS).
17th of September: Riemann's Birthday
Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann as a German mathematician who made contributions to analysis, number theory, and differential geometry. Riemann Integral, his work on Fourier Series and Riemann Surfaces are one of the most influential works of mathematics. Solving the Riemann Hypothesis is called "the hardest way to earn a million dollars"!
You may want to watch the related Numberphile video.
There is also a more advanced video by MoMath "Math Encounters - Primes and Zeros: A Million-Dollar Mystery"
22nd of September: Michael Faraday's Birthday
His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, magnetism and electrolysis. Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Newton and Maxwell.
4-10 October: World Space Week:
This year the theme is “Satellites Improve Life.”
In 2021, World Space Week celebrates “Women in Space.”
Week of 4 - 10 October is declared as World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition” You may visit the official website http://www.worldspaceweek.org/
9-15 October: Earth Science Week:
Earth Science Week 2020 Theme is 'Earth Materials in Our Lives'.
You may visit the official website http://www.earthsciweek.org/ and choose an activity categorized according to the different grade levels. There are also different contests like essay, photograph, visual arts and video that each grade level can join.
Here is a list of math & science activities for Halloween with additional surprises.
7th of November: Marie Curie's Birthday
Marie Curie is the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, in Physics. She also became the first person to claim Nobel honors twice in different fields (Chemistry). With her husband, they discovered polonium and radium, and she led the development of X-rays and treatment of cancer.
There is also a 2019 movie called Radioactive starring Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie.
Curie’s laboratory notebooks are at France’s Bibliotheque National in Paris. You can view her notebooks by signing a a liability waiver and wearing protective gear since these items are still radioactive .
Click here for the Marie Curie poster.
Some of her famous quotes:
"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."
"Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood."
"Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas."
Here is a virtual exhibit you can visit by the University of Paris about Maria S. Curie (1867-1934)
11th of November: Origami Day
One of the best days to celebrate and relax at the same time is for sure the Origami Day. You can start visiting the official website of the Origami day in USA.
There are several books about Origami. I can recommend one particular book about modular origami by the inspiring young writer Byriah Loper is "Mind-Blowing Modular Origami: The Art of Polyhedral Paper Folding: Use Origami Math to fold Complex, Innovative Geometric Origami Models"
You can also learn more about the Origami axioms and applications by visiting Mathigon website.
Origami folding techniques are used in spacecrafts as well. If you are looking for a more STEAM related ideas, here is the funmathfan's ORIGAMI IN SPACE; MIURA, TREASE AND MORE article.
23rd of November: Fibonacci Day
November 23rd, corresponds to the first numbers of the Fibonacci sequence
11.23 = 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 - 8 - 13 - 21 - 34 - ...
This pattern of counting means that each number is the sum of the previous two. DNA patterns and hurricanes contain patterns showing this sequence. It is referred as the “nature’s secret code” .
Some say the famous Apple logo's design is based on the Fibonacci series too.
Here are three different math tasks with Polypad related with Fibonacci Numbers
10th of December (October 12): Ada Lovelace Day
English mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace is also one of the first computer programmers. She is the daughter of famous poet Lord Byron.
In her notes, Ada Lovelace explained the difference between the Analytical Engine and previous calculating machines, particularly its ability to be programmed to solve problems of any complexity.
She was aware of the potential of the device extended far beyond mere number crunching they can be used to solve advanced algorithms.
Click here for the Ada Lovelace poster.
7 - 13 December: Computer Science Education/Hour of Code Week
Visit the official websites to raise awareness about the Computer Science and coding.
You can promote computer science locally, host a CS Tech Jam or bring Hour of Code to your classroom.
Remember that, even if you cannot provide computers or tablets for everyone, you can use Computer Science Unplugged Activities to introduce the concepts of CS without using computers.
22nd of December: Ramanujan’s Birthday and Indian National Math Day
Here is a Google slide with many links to celebrate the life of Ramanujan.
- Read the remembrance by his collaborator G.H. Hardy: The Indian Mathematician Ramanujan
- A poem by Jay Cummings: Joined by Math
26th of December: Conway’s Birthday
John Conway (26 December 1937 – 11 April 2020) was an English mathematician active in the theory of finite groups, knot theory, number theory, combinatorial game theory and coding theory. He is the inventor of cellular automation and the zero-player game; Game Of Life.
- Play Game of Life by Conway
- Watch the series of Numberphile interviews with Conway on YouTube.
27th of December: Kepler’s Birthday
Kepler was a German teacher, astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer. He is best known for his laws of planetary motion.
Watch the video about his three laws of planetary motion.
You can visit the Nasa's education website for the activity "Exploring Exoplanets with Kepler"
He was also the first person to publish a detailed study of the tilings of regular polygons in Book II of Harmonices Mundi ("The Harmony of the World"), published in 1619.
Here is the Polypad activity where you can draw Kepler's monsters (fused decagon pairs)