Fun, Learning and Pie Marked SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School’s First Pi Day
The room was full of excitement and energy of the learning kind, as groups of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School (CHS) students gathered around tables with activities centered around pi.
The William Graebe Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Lab at the CHS held its first Pi Day Festival on Thursday, March 14, the internationally known day of pi.
“Pi is the mathematical constant that has the worldwide symbol of π,” said Johnathan Tate, CHS math faculty associate and STEM Lab instructor. “Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of pi.”
“We designed the day to get Charter High School students more interested in math and science, and to let them see that related activities can be exciting,” said Liza Cummings, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and CHS math instructional coordinator. “We also gave away prizes throughout the day.”
The following activity tables were set up throughout the room:
- String a Pi Bracelet or Keychain – Students were given digits of pi to fashion into a bracelet or a keychain
- Pi Word Search – Students were timed to find as many words relating to pi or the idea of geometry
- Pi Puzzle – Students were charged with putting together a puzzle containing the digits of pi
- Pi Word Challenge – Students worked to come up with words that started with “pi”
- Race to Pi – Students played a card game, where the winner was the first one to have no cards in his or her hand after putting down the numbers found in pi
- Pi in Measurements – Students had to find the circumference and diameter of pi
- Pi in the Skyline – Using the digits in pi, students drew a graph and created a skyline
- Digits in Pi – Students shared how many digits they knew in pi
“I know pi is international, and it pops up in other math formulas,” said Sharrod Baldwin, a CHS freshman who aspires to become an astronomer. “Pi Day has been fun. I like doing the skyline activity.”
“I am familiar with pi. The activities are fun, but they have been a review for me,” said Keenean Collier, a CHS junior at the Pi Word Search table. In five minutes, Collier correctly identified 13 of the 16 words.
“We need to do more fun activities that are STEM and academically-related,” said Mildred Fort, CHS science faculty associate. “This is a good way for students to see that they can think abstractly, and they don’t have to be afraid of science and math subjects.”
Students were also treated to a selection of apple, peach, pecan and cherry pie during their lunch hour.
“Today was a great success and a start of a good tradition at the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School,” said Greg Laktzian, CHS math teacher assistant.
The SIUE Charter High School is a school-of-choice for families in the East St. Louis School District 189. The mission of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School is to prepare students who are career- and college-ready upon graduation. To achieve this mission, the school and its staff will positively impact the educational and economic lives of East St. Louis, Illinois youth through individualized instruction in core academic subjects, exploration of career interests and aptitudes, assistance in realizing students’ talents, high academic goals, and expectations that graduates will become competitive employees for the 21st century.
Working at the Pi in Measurements table are CHS freshmen Damien Johnson (left) and Sharrod Baldwin, as Greg Laktzian, CHS math teacher assistant, looks on.
L-R: Jayla Sussix and Frank Best, both CHS freshmen, enjoy one of the many pi activities.
The SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School celebrated its first Pi Day Festival on March 14.