SAVOR THE SEASON: Lake Placid fifth-graders celebrate Pi Day by making pies
March 22, 2019


LAKE PLACID - People around the world marked Pi Day - Thursday, March 14 - by making pies, eating them, and sharing photos of them on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. Lake Placid Elementary School fifth-graders joined in the celebration by making pies from scratch at the Lake Placid Conference Center.

It all began with a math lesson.

Yes, Pi Day is a real thing. It even has its own website: It is celebrated around the world on March 14 because that is 3/14. Pi, a Greek letter, is the symbol used in math to represent a constant, "the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter," which is approximately 3.14159. A lot of people shorten it to 3.14, yet people who love math - and are great with memorization - take the opportunity every March 14 to recite the infinite digits of Pi. They also talk to their friends about math. And they eat pie.

LPES fifth-grade math teacher Jessica Kelly said that her students recently finished a math unit on fractions, and they visited the Conference Center on March 14 to transform their book knowledge into a hands-on activity. Kelly put together a "Kids Baking Championship" just like on the Food Network.

"This is a great way to show students how fractions can be used in real life, as well as get them excited about math in general, and work on culinary skills that they will be able to use forever," she said.

In teams of four, students then had to double a pie crust and pie filling recipe in the classroom and bring their recipes to the Conference Center. The Conference Center and Centerplate staff set up miniature sous chef kitchens for the students.

"The objective of this project is to have students learn and understand real-life applications for what they are doing in the classroom," Kelly said. "Not only did this project include real-life applications of math, but students had to apply teamwork skills, and creativity in order to be successful making the pies.

The pies were a big hit with the employees at Centerplate and the state Olympic Regional Development Authority and faculty and staff at the school.

"A big 'thank you' goes out to the Lake Placid Conference Center and Centerplate, who donated their time, event space and ingredients for the students to accomplish all of this," Kelly said. "This has been a huge collaborative effort between the school and our community in order to make learning fun and relate math to a great real-life experience.


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