Pi Day Celebrated at Furlow Charter School

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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Furlow Charter School celebrated Pi Day on March the 14th. Patti Howell teaches a variety of high school science classes, including chemistry and physical science. She talked about orchestrating Pi Day as part of her STEM certification process: “We have to make a two week STEM unit for a class. We have to do something like this, a STEM Day or a STEM night and then we have to do a lot of research, and a lot of work in class with other students where we were making STEM things ourselves.”

Howell also talked about the importance of Pi. “It is important for people to know about pi because even things in nature that we don’t think about are circles, for example trees. In order to calculate the surface area of a slice of a tree one would have to use pi. In our workforce, we are using machinery that involves circles. If someone is a manager trying to determine the cost of a material to make a round object, pi would be involved.”

She talked about choosing Pi day and the specific activities to celebrate it. “With Pi day, I wanted a holiday to celebrate. I have a lot of physics stuff. I love different launchers and rockets and things like that so I had things that I had done before that were readily available to me. I just thought it went along real well with that story.”

Howell talked about how each of the activities were designed to reinforce the concept of Pi, with the mathematical allegory of Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi a reoccurring motif. Howell supervised students as they used paint, cardboard, pipe cleaners and other materials to create art pieces inspired by Pi.

Social studies teacher Kevin Mournighan had a unique challenge for Furlow Charter students. Students were given a pad that controlled a spherical robot with lights, first using the control to move the robot from one point to another on a practice mat. Afterward, they used the controls to move from planet to plant on a mat representing the solar system. While the balls were fast, they proved difficult to control, with many ending up off the mat. A few adroit students were able to pick up the knack and get them from point to point.

A teacher with curly hair and triangle earrings welcomed students into her class with a whimsical British accent. Rachel Cotton teaches drawing, painting, and sculpture. She coached her students as they made structures with marshmallows and tooth picks designed to span the circumference of a sculpted figure from the story.

Pi day also involved non-mathematical pie. Several teachers were hit by students with pies in the face. Hope Deriso teaches multi-grades pulling children for small group. When asked, she mentioned this wasn’t her first time getting pied by students. “No, this is the second time. When this was Sarah Cobb Elementary, we did it right over here on that wall, and I got pied then.”

Crystal Lingefelt, Director of Student Services, had a similar run in with high velocity pastry. She told how it was her first time getting pied by her students: “By the students, yes, by the teachers, a couple of years ago.”

Seventh grader Kynslee Collins was one of the pie throwers. When asked if she had ever pied a teacher before, she replied she hadn’t. She said “it was fun” though admitted the teacher had never given her bad grades.

Fourth grader Cooper Parker expressed similar enthusiasm. He described the experience as “Really fun” although he did show some remorse. “They might hate me for this though.”

Several students also gave their reactions as to their favorite activity. Ariana Cooper described making cars as her favorite “My car fell apart, but it still was fun.”

Laryne Milledge showed appreciation for the artistic exercise “The painting was probably my favorite, because I got to be real creative.”