Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pi Day Festivities

I know it is late. Pi day was at 1:59 on Sunday but we have had no school since then. Today was our first Pi day at school. Imagine an "Amazing Race" but with math clues. Nine teams of Grade 8 students, 2 teams of Grade 9 students and 5 teams of Grade 7 students raced around the school looking for clues based on our favorite irrational number!! Pi!!
What I took away from this experience was that kids love competing and some kids love to compete using math. So here was our format if you want to use it at your school:

Each Grade had 5 questions to answer. Here are mine..
Question 1
A) Count the lockers outside the gym and before Room 2. 
B) Use that number as the diameter of a circle. 
What is the area of a circle that has B as a diameter?
What room is closest to where you have arrived.  You will find your second clue there.
Question 2
Use the room where you area now and call it a radius. 
Find the are of a circle that has it as a radius. 
Your next clue awaits you there.
Question 3
Find the median of the provincial basketball banners by the west gym doors. 
Divide that year by 100 and round to the nearest whole number. 
Use that number as the circumference of a circle.  You will find your next clue at the room that is one whole number larger.

Question 4
Use the Room from Question 3 as a diameter.  Find the surface area of a cylinder whose length is also the answer from Question 3. 
Round the area up to the nearest unit and you will arrive at your next destination.
Question 5
Find the Radius of a circle whose circumference is 98432.72 units.  When you find the radius you need to find that number in the gym hallway.  Good luck!!
Final Clue
Find the digital root of this radius.  The treasure awaits you there.

I placed the clues in envelopes at the locations found in the envelopes, (locker numbers, room numbers etc).  After each clue was solved the students would race around to the next clue location and have to find in in close proximity to where the previous clue had sent them.
If I was to do this again I would stagger the groups out and have them start with different questions all returning to the final clue and the prize.  The way I did it this year all students started at question 1 and went to question 2 etc.  It was a bit of a follow the leader instead of solve it on your own.  Oh well.
What Have I learned? I have learned that kids love this activity and as a school we will do it again in a month or so. We will do it outside and set it up like score orienteering.  Perhaps more kids will try out and have fun.  If not the ones who do sign up will have as much fun as the winners from today's Pi event. I guess I forgot to tell you.  All kids received a prize (pizza tickets) due to their large smiles and enthusiasm. 

I love my job:)