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Pi and pie to fuel math competition at WSU Tri-Cities
Monday, Mar. 11, 2013
By Kari Tutwiler, WSU Tri-Cities Marketing and Communications
RICHLAND, Wash. — Middle school students will join math enthusiasts to commemorate Pi Day on Thursday, March 14, at Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Pi (π) is the approximately equal to 3.14159, typically abbreviated to 3.14. In addition to being one of the most important constants in mathematics, the number happens to represent the birthday of Albert Einstein, who was born March 14, 1879.
To celebrate pi and show how math is fun, the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement program (MESA) of Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities is holding a by-invitation math competition at WSU Tri-Cities. Approximately 200 students who are in the MESA program at Pasco, Sunnyside and Granger middle schools will be brought by bus to the university campus.
Pi Day begins at about 8 a.m. with an opening presentation by an Albert Einstein look-alike in the East Building Auditorium, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland. Students will spend the morning in 35-minute sessions that include math competitions, integrated math and art workshops featuring origami, pi-ku writing, and a pi(e) eating contest. The last workshop is from 12:15 to 12:55 p.m., with the closing assembly at 1 p.m.
"Students will gain a new appreciation and understanding of pi and how it is used in mathematics, plus learn about Einstein and his contribution to math and science,” said Teryl Cooper, MESA Middle School Coordinator. "My hope is that they have fun celebrating math and how it can be applied to different facets of life.”
Pi is the numerical value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Many formulas from mathematics, science and engineering include π.
Washington River Protection Solutions is the primary sponsor for the MESA Pi Day, financing all of the transportation costs, along with sponsors Battelle, Bechtel and Hapo Community Credit Union.
The MESA program based at WSU Tri-Cities services five high schools and six middle schools. MESA works to support underrepresented students in achieving and contributing their full potential in mathematics, engineering and science by providing enriching opportunities that serve as a catalyst and model for educational excellence and equity. Learn more at www.tricity.wsu.edu/mesa.
WSU Tri-Cities is located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, Wash. Established in 1989 with upper division and graduate programs, WSU Tri Cities expanded in 2007 to a four-year undergraduate campus offering 18 bachelor’s, 10 master’s and six doctoral degree programs. Learn more about the most diverse campus in the WSU system at www.tricity.wsu.edu.