2011 – A Prime Year!

7 01 2011

We’re all enjoying the first few days of the New Year and wanted to do a little mathematical exploration of the number 2011. One of the coolest things about the number 2011 is that it’s a prime number.

Prime numbers are numbers that can only be divided by themselves or 1. Prime numbers are always positive, and greater than 1. Prime numbers are used in computer programming, in writing codes, and have been studied by mathematicians for many years.

We went on a Prime Number Scavenger Hunt around the Museum to look for Prime Numbers. Remember, 2011 is a prime number, and here are all of the primes under 100:

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97

If you find a big number and want to see whether it’s a prime number, you can enter it in this Prime Number Calculator.

Go on your own Prime Number Scavenger Hunt at home or at the Austin Children’s Museum. Make a simple chart with prime numbers along one side, a spot to write down where you found that number. Here’s the one we made:

Here are just a few of the Prime Numbers we found around the Museum:

We found a calendar - 2011 is a prime number, so is 29!

2 is the only even prime number - we found this 2 on a toy box in the Museum Store.

5 is prime! We found this on the sign for Tinkerer's Workshop.

We found this tiny 19 on the Snake Pendulum in the Notion of Motion Exhibit. Nineteen's neighbor 17 is also prime.

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