Paw Paw Pi Day keeps growing
Paw Paw Schools celebrated Pi Day with many school-wide activities that included Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Club CO2 car races, rocket launches and robot demonstrations. Each year the Pi Day event has grown and gotten bigger, said Paw Paw High School math teacher Kim Hamrick.
Pi Day is March 14 and is also physicist Albert Einstein’s birthday. Pi (3.14159 and into infinity) is used in a mathematical formula to calculate the circumference of a circle from its diameter.
Technology Education teacher and STEM Club advisor Chris Poniris said he and club members demonstrated their robots and their CO2-powered dragsters and launched pneumatic rockets and a plane at their Pi Day assembly. One robot was programmed to bowl and then do a victory dance.
“I explained how the backbone of everything we do is tied to math,” Poniris said.
Students had to closely follow the metric measurements on 18 different design parameters for the CO2 dragsters. Robots’ programming was measurement converted using ratios and angles and they also calculated the height for the rockets using trigonometry he said.
STEM Club members will be competing with their CO2 dragsters at the West Virginia Technology Student Associa-tion spring conference, he said.
Math, science & art
Hamrick said all k-12 math classes did Pi Day activities. Hamrick’s classes were working with Einstein’s famous e=mc2 principle (energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared) for the evaluation of energy. They were dropping marbles into flour to measure the energy of one object to another.
Students were also graphing the results of velocity and velocity squared to see the correlation. Hat sizes were also being compared to circumference.
Students in high school science teacher Carol Coryea’s biology and earth science classes put together a quote board showing Albert Einstein’s work and philosophy. Students also researched Einstein’s life, work and impact on society, Coryea said. Tenth grader Levi Bullett dressed up as Albert Einstein for Pi Day to add to the fun.
Third and eighth grade students made mandalas with art teacher Lindsey Curtin. Their lesson covered the cultural symbolism and relation of the circular design, Curtin said. She also worked with first graders on relating the circle to shapes they see in their environment. The first grade class also did a bubble activity.
This year all Paw Paw students were wearing Pi symbols with the word Pi-rates for their Paw Paw Pirates connection. They also received heart pencil sharpeners that encouraged loving and enjoying math. The Pi Day theme was “Math is Power,” Hamrick said.
Kids also had round snacks and food all day on Pi Day that included oatmeal cream pies, pizzas and around 80 pies of different varieties.
Parent volunteers worked with elementary school students in each grade on math activities for Pi Day, said Title 1 parent facilitator Becky Pracht. Kids did “Math-Easy as Pi” projects.
Parents taught kindergarten students fractions by cutting paper plates into pie slices of varying portions. They also counted and sorted M & Ms, Pracht said.
First graders measured their desk and whole body and their feet and found that each student’s foot was different than a ruler’s 12-inch measurement of a foot. The activity was based on Rolf Myller’s book, How Big is a Foot?
Second and third graders measured paper reptiles. Parents taught fourth, fifth and sixth graders how to measure the diameter and radius of a circle and also its circumference using Pi, Pracht said. Kids used small vanilla wafers, mini-chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal pies to learn about circumference.
Last year elementary students made red and black bracelets using the odd and even digits of Pi, Hamrick said.
Has really grown
This is the fourth year that Paw Paw Schools has done Pi Day activities, Hamrick said. They started out with a contest memorizing the numbers of Pi and students throwing pies at her and former Principal Michelle Fleming.
“Kids enjoy it,” Hamrick said.