Tasting the Pi

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By Dylan Widener – Terrier Times Staff – Vinton, VA. -

At William Byrd High School, math teachers celebrate more than just St. Patrick’s Day in March. This year they added a bit of flavor too.

Sherri Mays’ students got to use Oatmeal Cream Pies in order to not only celebrate Pi Day, but also make it a fun learning experience.

“March 14 is considered Pi day,” said math teacher Sherri Mays.

Pi is a math term of 3 followed by an infinite number of variables. It is more often seen as its simplified form of 3.14.

“If it falls into the school year, I try to do something every Pi day. The activity depends on which lesson my students are studying,” Mays said.

The activities this year included oatmeal cream pies. They were measured by students to find their dimensions. They found the radius and diameters of the cakes and used that information to calculate the area and circumferences of the pies.

 “It’s a good learning experience, plus you get free food,” said sophomore Levi Cornett.

For Cornett it was also a fun exploit, and it was very worthwhile since it got the class out of their usual work.

 “I liked it because you’re doing an activity, not book work,” Cornett said.

After they took the first few measurements of the pies, the students cut out a piece of their pies. In math this is called a sector. After they did so, they used their protractors and different formulas to find the length of the arc and the area of the sector.

Once the students finished with their dimensions, Mays asked her students to get on their laptops and look up an interesting fact about Pi. Then the students enjoyed probably the most fun thing about Pi day: eating their pies.

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