“I never celebrated Pi Day until I came to East,” said Heath. “When I came to East, I felt it was about time.”
Although pi is one of the most well-known mathematical constants, its origin is unknown to most students. To help her students understand the mathematics behind pi, Heath demonstrates the method by which the number is derived.
“Anyone can copy things down, but understanding them is more important,” said Heath.
While pizza pies are the iconic food of choice in celebrating Pi Day, baked foods have become trademarks of Heath Pi Day celebrations. Perennial favorites are perfectly circular cookies and square cornbread. Heath’s cornbread is an intended pun on the area formula for a circle: πr2, said “pie are squared.”
However, students should not expect to gorge on cookies and cornbread for the entire period. Heath prepares a packet about pi for her Geometry students. The packet details the properties and history of pi, which dates back nearly 4000 years.
“I want my students to understand that [pi] is not just some arbitrary number,” said Heath.
Heath uses pi beyond her teaching responsibilities. Using the number, she perfectly measures out the area of dough needed to top her pies. Years ago, she even designed and calculated the dimensions for a skateboarding quarter-pipe using pi.
Although Pi Day may slip under the radar for most of East’s students, at least one teacher’s students are celebrating the obscure holiday without restraint. For the remainder of the school population, Pi Day can at least be an excuse to enjoy a pizza pie with friends.