It's food for thought...anyway you slice it

akrause@norwalkreflector.com From one vantage point, It looked like a celebration of pies. Varieties such as caramel apple, Dutch apple, pecan, lemon and blueberry were just waiting Friday at Main Street School for dessert lovers to dig in ... which they eventually did. But if all you saw were the pastries, you weren't privy to the real reason for this celebration.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010

 

akrause@norwalkreflector.com

From one vantage point, It looked like a celebration of pies.

Varieties such as caramel apple, Dutch apple, pecan, lemon and blueberry were just waiting Friday at Main Street School for dessert lovers to dig in ... which they eventually did.

But if all you saw were the pastries, you weren't privy to the real reason for this celebration.

Pi, not pie, was the center of attention. But unless you're a math aficionado, you may not recall Pi as the symbol for 3.1415926535 the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Mathaholics worldwide celebrated Pi Day Friday, 3/14.

"If you get on the Internet, there's so much stuff out there," Main Street math teacher Robyn Brady said.

You'll find some of that information onwww.piday.org, the Web site for Pi Day. It includes the definition of Pi, its symbol, and comments from individuals about their favorite Pi Day activities.

Main Street students engaged in several activities to learn about Pi and have fun at the same time.

Those students lying on the floor were not falling asleep on their studies. Rather, they were positioning their bodies to form the shape of Pi's symbol, which resembles a "T" with double trunks.

In another classroom, students made necklaces and strung them with beads. Each color bead corresponded to a digit of Pi, and students ordered the beads to spell out some of Pi's digits. The number, although rounded off to 3.14, continues infinitely without repeating.

Does it have any practical value? Students demonstrated it by blowing a bubble, bursting it onto a paper and leaving a wet "footprint." Students measured the diameter of the circle to determine the circumference using Pi.

The activity was an example of how teachers integrated Pi into a math lesson. For language arts, students formed a circle and created a story in the tradition of the game "Telephone." Students added to the tale until it was finished. One of the tales featured characters such as Sir Cumference, his wife, Diameter and their midget son, Radius.

For art type project, students decorated plates, each containing a digit.

"Me! Me!," some students pleaded with teacher Jami Tinker for the right to use a particular number.

"They're having so much fun," Tinker observed.

The fun also included singing songs whose lyrics included Pi.

You might be familiar with Don McLean's "American Pie," but what about Lawrence Mark Lesser's "American Pi?"

A long, long time ago I can still remember

How that mathematics made me smile.

And I knew if I had my chance, I would ace geometry class

And make my parents happy for a while.

But some math books made me shiver

Facts on tablets, all delivered:

Noting past the rational,

And nothing transcendental.

I can't remember if I cried,

Reading 3 point 1 4 1 5 9...

But something touched me deep inside

The day I learned of pi...so:

Find, find the value of pi,

Starts 3 point 14159.

Good ol' boys gave it try,

But the decimal never dies, the decimal never dies....