Sweet competition draws interest
Since the irrational number “pi” is often abbreviated to 3.14, it is only fitting that a math competition be held March 14, which is the 14th day of the third month.
The Penn State Fayette Eberly campus hosted its annual Pi Day, welcoming students from all over the area to compete in a fun and interesting math competition.
And the winners get?
“This is a fun competition for ninth- and 10th-grade students and a great way to keep these kids more interested in math,” said Penn Sate campus associate professor of Engineering Dave Meredith, adding that the schools participating send the top students to compete, with everyone hoping for the sweet prize. “We give the top three teams pie. We thought that was a fitting prize for Pi Day.”
Meredith has been hosting the event for 14 years and says the competition is an interesting way to work on complex math problems.
“This was all started as a fun thing to do,” Meredith said.
This year, four school districts sent teams, with a total of 20 teams that competed.
“We have 20 teams of six,” Meredith said, adding that the districts that competed this year include Yough, Uniontown, Laurel Highlands and Ringgold.
Yough math teacher Jeff Betlan brought three teams to compete, choosing both gifted students and students who were strong in mathematics.
“I brought gifted students and I brought other students,” Betlan said. “I always tell the kids that they don't have to be gifted to be special.”
Betlan said that over the years, he has brought some teams that have done very well in the competition.
“I had a team of girls that placed the second highest in the history of the event,” Betlan said.
Another math teacher from Yough, Steve Ohler, said that he believes the competition is beneficial in ways other then solving math applications.
“We really have to be a part of the team to do well in a competition like this, but then that applies to everything in life,” Ohler said. “No matter what career you choose, you have to be able to perform as a team. It's something important to learn now.”
The students had one hour to work on 20 problems that were then scored by the judges.
“These kids are the best of the best,” Meredith said. “These are the kinds of kids that could someday solve our global problems. They do it well and they get things done.”
The winning team was “Cherry” from Laurel Highlands, second place was team “Date” from Ringgold and the third team was “Apple” from Yough.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Oglethorpe: Dad worked hard, had a quiet humor
- Fayette County volunteers aim for markers, flags on all veterans’ graves for Memorial Day
- Connellsville police to be fitted with bulletproof vests
- Robbery charges dismissed against Uniontown man
- Fairchance man accused of impersonating officer
- Fayette commissioners clash over jail options
- Walker: Photos sought for pictorial project at Connellsville Canteen
- Clinton Church of God to hold pig roast on Saturday
- Connellsville’s blighted property ordinance overcomes first hurdle
- Commissioners approve tax plan for South Union plaza
- Lynn: 1st day of school coming on Aug. 25; keep alert for children