Eshleman students celebrate Pi Day

Pies of all kinds were flying Friday as fifth-graders at Eshleman ES marked the date (March 14, or 3.14) as Pi Day in celebration of the never-ending number used to measure a circle’s circumference.

The event started off with a reading from the book “Sir Cumference and the Knights of the Round Table,” followed by video clips explaining Pi, the crucial number used in calculating the area of a circle, the volume of a sphere and other mathematical formulas.

Students then got to eat pizza “pie” after picking a number from a cup representing the angle of each slice. Using a giant protractor, they figured out how big or small their piece would be as teacher Mindy Swope wielded the pizza cutter.

The fifth-graders also practiced making concentric designs with compasses, but the high point of the afternoon was the Pie Face game, led by teacher John Matusek.

Students placed their heads into a frame of a clown’s face, rolled a dice and cranked a lever, taking their chances at getting a pie (actually a small sponge topped with whipped cream) flung into their faces. As they awaited their fate, Matusek quizzed them on the probability that they would get hit.

In addition to learning about Pi and probabilities, the students got to practice measuring angles, using compasses and estimating – all in a fun, nonthreatening atmosphere.

“Honestly, it’s also a way to slip some fun back into an elementary child’s school day,” Matusek said.