Pie a math aid on Pi Day
March 15, 2007
Jill Alley needs to slice two pies so that her 16 students receive equal portions. At what central angle should she cut each slice? Answer, 45 degrees.
Alley was serving pie to Douglas High School students taking a practice test in her math proficiency workshop on March 14, also known as Pi Day.
“Up to 180 juniors haven’t passed their proficiencies and these are the students who showed up at the workshop to get ahead of the game,” said Alley. “I have them for 10 days for an hour and a half a session so I’m filling them in with the tricks of the trade.”
Pi is the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet, it is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and it is also something good to eat.
The day recognizing pi, which is usually calculated to 3.14, is celebrated on the 14th day of the third month.
The students had to answer questions about angles, diameters and fractions to get ready to take their math proficiency tests.
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Alley thought that the visual aids of pies would help with the lessons so she called Wendy Smith of Sweetie Pies.
“I asked her if she knew if Wednesday was Pi Day and she donated two pies,” said Alley.
Since every day is Pie Day for Smith, she contributed an apple and a chocolate lover’s pie to the educational cause.
Seniors Stephanie Baeta and Stephanie Williams, who described themselves as “BFs,” (best friends), enjoyed the pie reward after they completed the practice test.
“The pie was delicious,” said Williams. “The workshop is worth it to get my diploma.”
Baeta said she took the math proficiency test about five times before.
“I’ll pass this time,” she said. “I’m real close.”