Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brain food: CVUSD students celebrate Pi Day

From:



TEETERING CREATION—Twelve-year-old Cindy Negron attempts to build a stable tower using marshmallows and toothpicks as math teacher Dawn Thomas gives her pointers during Pi Night, in honor of Pi Day, at Sequoia Middle School on March 14. 
IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers TEETERING CREATION—Twelve-year-old Cindy Negron attempts to build a stable tower using marshmallows and toothpicks as math teacher Dawn Thomas gives her pointers during Pi Night, in honor of Pi Day, at Sequoia Middle School on March 14.IRIS SMOOT/Acorn NewspapersNormally, when a child screams “Pie!” it’s in anticipation of getting a special treat after struggling through a plate of vegetables. But on March 14 students at schools throughout Conejo Valley Unified were screaming the same sweet syllable in anticipation of something that’s not often exciting to kids: math.
Pi Day, an unofficial holiday that pays homage to the mathematical constant pi—and math in general—is celebrated on March 14 because the date represents the figure’s first digits: 3.14. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
Math departments from many CVUSD schools hosted Pi Day events, including the largest, Sequoia Middle School’s 10th annual Pi Night.


FIRST FLIGHT—Stephen Liu, 9, tests out his paper-airplane-making skills during Sequoia Middle School’s annual Pi Night. 
IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers FIRST FLIGHT—Stephen Liu, 9, tests out his paper-airplane-making skills during Sequoia Middle School’s annual Pi Night.IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers“(Pi Night) has gotten bigger and bigger,” said Karen Abbitt, chair of Sequoia’s math department. “The first year we did it, the kids thought that we would have them do worksheets. But the event shows that math is so much more than just doing worksheets, and they love it.”
Teachers and students hosted the event in a school auditorium. Booths offered activities and games such as math Jeopardy, jigsaw puzzles, guess the number of jelly beans in the jar, math bingo and paper airplane making.
“As kids get older, the parents get less involved with their schooling, and this (event) gets them involved,” said Rio Mesa High School independent studies teacher Jim Rose, whose girlfriend’s child attends Sequoia.
“They have a great range of activities from logic problems to engineering problems,” Rose said. “It shows the kids that math is involved in all areas of life.”
Most students, like eighthgraders Wilder Gould and Tiffany Cepeda, received extra credit for running booths and participating in the event.
“We are doing it because we get extra credit, but also because we have fun and get more people involved,” the two agreed.
Volunteers from Newbury Park High School sold slices of pie, which were donated by students, at the back of the auditorium.
The money raised from their sales will go towards buying classroom supplies. According to the volunteers, they came to help out because they wanted to make the night as enjoyable for current students as it was for them when they were in middle school.
“Pi Night was always fun, and I enjoy math,” said NPHS senior Emily Hare. “It gets people to do mathematics outside of class and show them it can be fun too.”
According to algebra teacher Gregory Hauca, in addition to demonstrating the functions of math to students, the event connects the parents and faculty.
“One of the things I enjoy is getting to know the parents better,” he said.
Hauca ran a station that tested a student’s ability to memorize as many digits of pi as possible. The more digits they could memorize, the more candy they could win.
“It gets people together and makes the school a community,” he said.
Los Cerritos Middle School celebrated Pi Day by holding a contest to see who could arrange the digits of pi fastest during lunch. In addition, Los Cerritos math teacher Karen Greenberg led her geometry class in a computer Pi Day scavenger hunt.
At Sycamore Canyon School’s Pi Day rally, seventh-grader Andy Reddy won a contest by correctly dictating 1,116 digits of Pi, improving on his personal best of 857.
Local high schools also celebrated the unofficial holiday. The Westlake High School Math Club hosted a Pi Day celebration during lunch with the theme ins“pi”re.
“(The event) brings students together and makes math more fun so they can see it in a different light,” said faculty adviser Beth Grasel.
Math contests were held; math teachers wore small tags on their clothing with the word “inspire” and students wrote notes to department chair Carmella Ettaro saying how they felt inspired by her teaching. The halls of the math department are covered with Pi Day-themed posters from past years’ events. “It is a day to get the students involved in math and get the mathematicians to relax,” said math club president Kevin Yin.

second

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.