GLTHS Takes a Big Bite of Pi

March 24, 2019

TYNGSBORO -- Greater Lowell Technical High School students showcased their creativity -- and love for pie -- in recognition of Pi Day last week.

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 around the world. Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant -- the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter -- which is about 3.14159.

For the last two years, to help students engage in fun activities surrounding Pi Day, Worcester-based Table Talk Pies has donated 480 snack-size tarts to GLTHS.

Math Instructor Nicole Gilford previously bought more than 100 additional pies from the company for Pi Day, until Table Talk became aware of her educational efforts and this year donated 480 pies.

Before eating the pies, students in the GLTHS Math Club wanted to do something fun with them, so they gathered in the gym to illustrate as many decimal points as possible. Sophomores Patrick Sexton (Dracut) and Thu Do (Lowell), along with freshman Abbey Gingras (Dracut), calculated how many digits of pi they could create and how much space was needed to do it. They were able to draw out pi to the 44th decimal and made a pi symbol across 75 feet.

“Students really took the lead on this activity and had a great time looking at pi from a different angle,” Gilford said. “Thank you to Table Talk Pies for their donation to GLTHS this year, which is what made this activity possible.”

Since its inception three years ago, the Math Club continuously provides opportunities for students to engage in hands-on activities, like Pi Day, and regularly attends competitions to test members’ knowledge a number of different areas.

Some of the pies were also used for a recent Math 24 Game tournament. The game uses a card with four numbers on it and requires participants to make the number 24 -- by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. The competition consists of four rounds, and the student who can come up with the most equations wins.

“It’s a simple, yet competitive game that gets the students thinking and actively participating in math,” Gilford said. “Last year, we had 77 students attend, which is the highest number of participants we’ve ever had for a math competition, and we hope to double that number this year.”

Winners receive a medal and gift cards that can be used at GLTHS.