Seattle Public Schools

Thurgood Marshall Elementary’s Math Museum

Summary: Thurgood Marshall’s New Math Museum is Overturning Obstacles, Promoting Math Engagement.

Making it Count 

Thurgood Marshall Elementary is proud to announce the unveiling of its latest endeavor: The TM Math Museum. This innovative project, created by math specialist and levy coordinator Donna Duarte, revolutionizes math education by providing its students with a hands-on, interactive space to explore the wonders of mathematics. 

Students learn during a project focused on math

One of the museum’s most striking features is the math-inspired mural adorning the exterior walls. Designed by Pepper Allphin of Art by Pepper, the mural reflects the ideas of Thurgood Marshall third graders on where they see and use math in their world. By involving students in the creation process, the museum fosters a sense of ownership and pride in their math learning environment from an early age.  

Inside the museum, students are greeted with a plethora of interactive exhibits designed to spark curiosity and nurture creativity. By weaving together various disciplines, the museum emphasizes the interdisciplinary essence of mathematics, showcasing its relevance across diverse fields of study. This approach not only deepens students’ understanding of math concepts, but also illuminates its connections to other subjects, fostering a more meaningful and engaging learning experience.  

Aligned with Thurgood Marshall’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, culturally relevant activities within the museum address the needs of all students, ensuring a sense of belonging and connection to math for every individual. Regularly updated activities, aligned with classroom curriculum, keep the museum dynamic and relevant, enriching students’ ongoing math education and encouraging exploration beyond traditional classroom boundaries.  

Students work on a math inspired tic tac toe game in the Math Museum.

The TM Math Museum represents a significant milestone in promoting math joy, identity, and equitable practices at Thurgood Marshall. It provides a dedicated space where students can engage with math in a playful and meaningful manner, challenging stereotypes and empowering students of all backgrounds to excel in mathematics. 

As the doors of the TM Math Museum swing open, they herald a new era of math education at the school – one where students are emboldened to embrace math with confidence and curiosity, paving the way for a future filled with limitless possibilities.