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Monroe Middle's Pi Day: where numbers, science and words united

On March 14, Pi Day celebrations at Health Sciences at Monroe Middle School were not just about memorizing digits of the famous mathematical constant π; they were a vibrant fusion of mathematics, science and English language arts (ELA), all wrapped up in an evening of family fun and learning. With the support of their teachers, the students led the way, organizing and running the events with enthusiasm and confidence.

"The event aims to seamlessly integrate concepts from the Health Sciences Academy with those from mathematics, science and English, showcasing the interconnectedness of STEM throughout the school," said Trena Marshall, one of the school's assistant principals.

As families entered the bustling cafeteria, they were greeted with math puzzle sheets on tables, inviting them to put their problem-solving skills to the test. Laughter and chatter filled the space as parents and students collaborated, figuring out equations and unraveling mathematical mysteries. Nearby, some attendees hopped from one numbered square to another, their eager minds searching for patterns.

"This is the doodle station. The task is to trace the figure without lifting your marker or retracing over a line," said Amy Kopcznski, a math teacher. "It increases in difficulty as people go through it. This one involves some perseverance."

Meanwhile, in the gymnasium, the atmosphere buzzed with activity. Jump rope stations let energetic staff, students and family members showcase their agility while learning about the mathematical principles of rhythm and timing. Amidst the rhythmic skipping, CPR demonstrations offered valuable life-saving skills, ensuring the celebration was fun and practical.

Yanina Richardson, a medical Spanish teacher at the school, attended to support CPR demonstrations and stressed the importance of medical Spanish for clear communication between healthcare providers and Spanish-speaking patients, enhancing understanding, trust, and healthcare outcomes.

Over in a corner, students gathered around to witness captivating demonstrations on creating simulated burns, shedding light on the science of wound healing and first aid. Other stations explored vital signs, lung capacity and bone diseases. Healthy eating was a focus, too. Eighth-grader Elizabeth Dukes, who typically feels shy, expressed that leading the healthy eating station helped her gain confidence and become a better communicator.

"This station shows people how to create a healthy plate," said Elizabeth. "They section the plate into fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Then they draw what kinds of food should be in each section."

As people walked from the gym to the library, they found a fun racecar activity showing the law of motion. Participants blew up a balloon and attached it to a little car. When they let go, they watched to see whose car would go the fastest. It was a friendly competition that got everyone excited, especially the winners.

But the celebration didn't stop there. In the library, budding poets took to the podium, their voices echoing with passion as they recited original works. Parent Shenae Cruz, whose sixth-grader attends the school, enthusiastically embraced all the activities.

"I enjoyed the math activities the most because I'm good at math," said Cruz. "I wanted to see how it had changed from when I was in school, so I could support my daughter better at home. I'm seeing how engaged the teachers are with the students. They've made everyone feel so welcome. I'm seeing a lot of parents here supporting their children, too.”

Of course, no Pi Day celebration would be complete without the classic symbol of the occasion – pies! Families gathered around tables filled with delicious treats, enjoying the tasty snacks before going home.

See more photos of the event below.