Students at Pitt Meadows secondary will be celebrating Pi on March 14. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Celebrating Pi at Pitt Meadows secondary

Pi Day celebrated for the first time to change the culture of math at the school

The powerful number of Pi is going to celebrated for the first time at Pitt Meadows secondary on Thursday.

Pi Day is celebrated around the world on March 14, the 14th day of the third month, the first three digits of Pi.

“We’re just trying to build up the math culture here at the school to try and make it more fun and get kids to want to take math and to find it interesting,” said math and science teacher Amanda Buchan.

“You use math every single day in your life. Go to the grocery store, you are using math,” said Nataiya D’Onofrio another math and science teacher at the school.

For Pi Day there will be different stations at the school for students to participate in. There will be a pie making station, there will be a station where students can go onto a computer and figure out where in the digits of Pi their birthday falls. There will be math crafts where the digits 0 to 9 are assigned different colours so students can make bracelets using beads or different designs using the digits of Pi to guide the colouring.

There will be a pie your teacher station by donation, Pi Day greeting cards, Pi cookie decorating, a Pi puzzle where students have to take the symbol of Pi and rearrange it to look like a square and a reading of the book Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander.

The math department has also printed out the first 150 digits of Pi and the students are going to colour them in to hang up in the math hallway to add colour and enthusiasm into the department.

“Everyone is like I hate math, I’m bad at math, I hate math and we want to change that idea, that it’s not cool to like math, math is boring,” said Buchan.

“This is kind of the first step of like look at the fun things we can do in math. And also to build the relationship between the teachers and the students,” she continued, adding that they don’t always have the freedom in high school to do fun activities around the subject of math.

They idea to celebrate Pi Day this year came out of the fact that not only is the day before spring break this year, but also from an inspirational workshop members of the math department at the school attended where they learned about how other schools adopted fun celebrations to build math culture at their respective schools.

“They had a lot of students taking lower level math and kind of this culture of math’s too hard, math’s no fun. And so they found that by bringing in these more fun holidays, they actually saw a shift in the culture in their school where more kids were taking higher level math and saw math as more like a fun challenge,” said Buchan.

Pi is important in mathematics because in any kind of circle geometry Pi is the relationship between the distance across the circle and the distance around the outside of the circle.

“It’s a number that’s used all the time in math and not a lot people understand where it comes from and the power of that number,” said Buchan.

“They call it the Where’s Waldo of numbers because it shows up all over the place,” she said, adding that it is also found everywhere in nature.

“Math is the language of science. We want to be literate, not just in English and other languages, we want to be literate in the language in science also which is mathematics,” said D’Onofrio.

“And this number is worth celebrating.”

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