It's another day of teaching for Stacy James, a math teacher at Folsom Middle School. Thursday, though, was special because it was officially "Pi Day."
Pi is the mathematical relationship between the circumference and the diameter of the circle. When divided, the number comes out to 3.14 with an infinite number of decimal places. It holds an almost mystical place of importance for math geeks.
"My personal favorite is I have a student who says 'Come to the dork side, we have Pi," laughed James.
James' students received a hands-on interactive series of lessons to help them understand the concept of Pi. They measured the distance around and through a number of circular objects to find the diameter went into the circumference just over three times.
The students were also asked which was more: three tennis balls stacked together or the distance around one tennis ball.
The answer: the circumference around one.
The real-life exercises helped to solidify the concept for students like Luke Lundbeck.
"When we put the ribbon across the hula hoop, it made three diameter lengths," explained Lundbeck. "And then there was some leftover. I'm pretty sure Pi is like 3.1 something, and we thought that the extra part of the ribbon could have been the decimal, which was in Pi."
"I try to incorporate math in a way that makes it accessible for all students to learn, but also fun and enjoyable," said James. "I want them to understand it's not pain, it wasn't designed to create pain in any way. But if it does create pain. My goal is to hopefully have the math be the aspirin for the headache it creates."
All that learning was positively reinforced at the end of the lesson with a big slice of...pie, of course.
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National Pi Day celebrates the famous number that goes on...and on. It's also a day to get some great deals on savory and sweet pies.