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Let’s Eat Some Math, With a Slice of “Pi”

Do any of you remember your days of high school geometry? For some of us, math was not our favorite subject. In fact, you may be quite happy to put the days of theorems, equations, and formulas behind you. Others may fondly remember learning the areas and perimeters of rhombuses and trapezoids.

For me, I can relate to both camps. I enjoyed memorizing the various formulas and equations, but I dreaded the endless math problems that required me to employ the theorems I learned. While I truly enjoyed math, geometry was rather dry and seemed to lack a real-world purpose. However, my whole opinion on math, geometry in particular, changed after I was exposed to Pi Day!

For those of you who are not aware, in March, there is a delicious celebration that families can partake in that is both fun and educational: “Pi” Day. What is Pi Day, you ask? Pi Day is the annual March 14 celebration of the mathematical sign pi (π). Founded by physicist Larry Shaw on March 14, 1988, Pi Day celebrates the first three digits of pi (3.14).

For those of us who are a little rusty on our geometry, we use pi to help us calculate a circle’s circumference and area (among other values). Recall C=2πr and A= πr^2? So, what’s so cool about pi? Our kids first learn about pi when measuring circles. However, outside of the classroom, pi is used in most calculations for building and construction, music theory, computer speed, air travel, medical procedures, and space flight.

Pi is a very important number and deserving of its “day.” Throw in the added benefit of family time and cementing some fun memories of math, and this celebration is a no-brainer.

So, parents, this Tuesday, March 14, I encourage you to make a pie or get one from your favorite bakery. Whether it be blueberry, pumpkin, rhubarb, or lemon, work with your kids to determine the circumference and area of your pies before you eat them. If you are feeling adventurous, throw in some angle calculations and determine the area of the slice you plan to eat. Remember, math can be fun and useful! Enjoy your “Pi” slices. God Bless!

 By Cheryl Thode

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