Mobilizing Young American Minds, 1950-1970

Mobilizing Young Minds

About the artifact walls

Artifact walls, consisting of 275 linear feet of glass-fronted cases lining the first and second floor center core, highlight the depth and breadth of the collections and convey that the Museum collects, studies and exhibits objects from our nation's rich and diverse history.

About this case

Historic events of the 1950s and 1960s encouraged bold reforms in mathematics and science teaching in the United States. Fearing achievements of the USSR, American parents, teachers, scientists and politicians strove to maximize the brainpower of the nation. At home, elementary school children had had special books and toys that featured math, science and space flight.  At school and in the community, they learned science and mathematics in new ways. Mobilizing Young American Minds includes entertainments from the home such as New Math Addition Flash Cards, an anatomical model called The Visible Man, and a Gilbert Microscope and Lab Set.  Objects from the community include a Spitz planetarium projector, Cuisenaire rods, and an unusual programmed textbook.

Online exhibition
For a fuller view of American math and science teaching in the Cold War era, see the online exhibition, "Mobilizing Minds: Teaching Math and Science in the Age of Sputnik."