Pass the Pi: High school students learn math and coding at Pi Day workshops

Published 4:25 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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High school students from across southwest Georgia gathered at Southern Regional Technical College on Thursday to participate in a special math workshop, dubbed Pi Day (after the date 3/14). Students and teachers from BHS, Cairo High School, Lee County High School, Spring Creek Charter Academy and Thomas County Central High School all attended the workshop.

The Pi Day event was the creation of BHS Advanced Math teacher Joseph Kelly. “For the past 16 years, I have taken our Math Club to Valdosta State University for their annual math competition and math day.  I noticed that BHS was one of the only schools in our region that would regularly participate,” he recalled. “I felt a need for students in Southwest Georgia to have the opportunity to experience the rigor and challenge of a math competition while also doing hands-on and engaging applications of mathematics.”

In addition to an exam, Pi Day consisted of mathematics workshops. Topics included drones and coding, Newton’s Law of Cooling and Exponential Decay, matrices and cryptology. First National Bank’s Bert Hines also spoke to students about how math plays a role in his career. Additionally, KaCee Holt with SRTC gave students a tour of the campus and information about the school’s dual enrollment program.

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According to Kelly, 41 total students attended, with positive feedback from teachers as well; according to Kelly, one CHS teacher said, “My students absolutely loved it and to see all of their smiling faces today made me so very happy and excited.” He added that he intends to make Pi Day an annual event.

“BHS Math Club will continue to sponsor the event for as long as we can. To help cover the costs of the event, BHS Math Club hosts various fundraisers throughout the school year including Chick-fil-a night.”

“I would like to thank everyone who helped make this day possible,” Kelly concluded. “I truly believe events such as this are very much needed and help move mathematics education forward in our small rural communities. So thank you again, and remember, there is always time for engaging mathematics!”