SJC Celebrates All-Day School-Wide ‘Pi Day'
By Darren McRoy
For the first time in 10 years, Pi Day was celebrated all day, school-wide at Western Springs’ St. John of the Cross Parish School on Wednesday.
The designated day—which has been recognized on the House of Representatives floor in a resolution co-sponsored by local congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs)—was celebrated with a plethora of activities celebrating both π and its famous delicious homonym, pie.
It helps, of course, that pies are circular, which makes them ideal for understanding π. It also helps that they’re tasty, which helps get attention when the entire school gets a slice with lunch.
But everyone from preschoolers to eighth-graders got in the mathematical spirit of π as well, with age-appropriate activities from understanding halves and quarters of pies (preschool,) to making a 200-digit chain of pi’s numbers (fourth and fifth grades) to measuring and calculating the dimensions of cans (middle school.) Pie charts filled the hallways.
“We tried to make it a little part of everybody’s day throughout the day,” said SJC teacher Gina Brouin, who helped organize the event. “[Students] were so excited… They were really diving into the activities. I think they had a great time.”
Activities went beyond the mathematical; students also read about π for language arts, the younger ones sketching out the difference between pi and pie. Others wrote “pi-kus” (three-word line, one-word line, four-word line…) or celebrated Albert Einstein's birthday (also 3/14); teachers all carried π pencils and wore shirts reading √(-1) 23 ∑ π (literally, “i 8 sum pi.”) The school set a goal of collecting 314 cans (useful for geometry activities) for the church food drive.
At 3:14, the entire school sang “Happy Pi Day To You.”
Brouin said the school-wide Pi Day might continue next year, and if it does, the test of its success will be if it is anticipated and remembered.
“It’ll be interesting to see next year, if we do a pi lessons, if kids say ‘oh, I remember last year!’ Brouin said. “They remember the things from these kind of fun, exciting days, and they take it from year to year.”
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