Pi. For many students, hearing this word induces images of delicious pastries filled with fruits. However, when members of the Mu Alpha Theta hear it, they think of the endless number used to describe the relationship between a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Woah.
With Pi Day on March 14th (3.14), the Mu Alpha Theta wanted to celebrate this holiday and share their love for math with the rest of Woodland by hosting Pi-inspired games and contests. Gentiana Ukaj, the Mu Alpha Theta advisor shared some information about the group and the Pi Day celebrations.
“[Mu Alpha Theta’s] overall goal is to get students excited about math and to do activities around school to get them more involved,” explained Ukaj. “It’s also a way that students in the society can [participate]. They got to plan it and put the posters around the school.”
The activities consisted of a Pi recitation, hula hooping and circle drawing contests, and a raffle for a Dunkin Donuts gift card. There used to be a pie eating contest as well, but they were unable to do it this year due to COVID.
“The activity that got the most engagement was the circle drawing contest because that’s one that everyone can do. The hula hoop contest was a fun one too,” said Ukaj.
The winners of these contests were listed on Schoology. Kenneth Arnold recited an impressive 580 digits, making it look as easy as pie. In addition, Isabella Mejas hula hopped her way into first place with a continuous time of 5 minutes and 12 seconds. Abby Bunk, human compass, secured her win by drawing the best free-hand circle. Lastly, Sydney Harrison was the lucky winner of the Dunkin Donuts gift card. Each winner had five tickets for the gift card submitted in their name on behalf of the Honors Society as an additional prize. While the project was a success, there were a few struggles along the way.
“I remember last year we had groups of people lined up to do things, but this year there hasn’t really been a lot of student engagement,” expressed Ukaj. “It was also a struggle getting people to help, because we have some members that are home full time.”
Ukaj also explained that the dates of the event had to be rescheduled from the 11th and 12th (before Pi Day) to the 15th and 16th, due to the half-day on the 11th. Math may not be the favorite subject of every student at Woodland, but Ukaj helped to explain the importance of mathematics in the real world.
“You use math in your everyday life, even if you don’t think it’s related. Especially if you’re going to college, what you’re learning in high school is the building blocks for that. A lot of students think that they don’t need it now, but they will in the future.”
While a number with over 22 trillion digits may not be thrilling to all, Woodland’s Mu Alpha Theta made this holiday fun for everyone.