Bronxville News

Sixth Through Eighth Graders Celebrate Pi Day
Bronxville, NY

Bronxville Middle School students celebrated Pi Day on March 14, which correlated with the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Through a variety of hands-on activities, sixth through eighth graders measured and discovered the relationship between the circumference and diameter of circles.

Sixth graders, who have been learning about ratios, cut out different types of paper pies and measured their circumferences and diameters with string, rulers and meter sticks. After getting the measurements, the students shared their findings and the ratios that were close to the estimated value of pi.

“It was exciting to see the students get excited about the accuracy of their measurements and proximity to pi, especially those who did not know of pi prior,” sixth grade math teacher Brittany Miceli said.

Seventh graders, who had completed a unit on classifying numbers where they learned the difference between irrational and rational numbers, revisited the concept and dove deeper into the most famous example of an irrational number, pi.

“The concept of a ratio is a major strand of importance in grades 6-8, so taking the time to investigate how pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference divided by its diameter is both developmentally appropriate and interesting to the students,” seventh grade math teacher Jennifer Oliveri said.

Eighth graders explored pi as the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter as they used string and rulers to measure the circumference and diameter of everyday circular objects. Then, they divided their measurements to discover which object had a radius of 3.14.

“In each class, students were able to get incredibly close to the exact value, sometimes coming within 1/1,000 of a place value away,” eighth grade math teacher Sarah Zonenshine said. “We spoke about human error and the reasons why it is not exact every time.”

The teachers said they hoped the activities would inspire a love of mathematics in their students.

“We hope students walk away from Pi Day realizing how incredible the concept of pi and the study of mathematics really is,” Oliveri said. “The discovery of pi teaches us all the value of innovation in the fields of math and science, and we hope to inspire future math enthusiasts in this next generation.”