Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gold Award project shows the fun side of math

Francesca Kavalir loves math. For her Gold Award project, she set out to ensure that other students discover fun ways to love it, too.

On March 14 (otherwise known as 3-14), Francesca held Pi Day, an event for local middle school students celebrating the mathematical constant Pi (3.14).

According to, Pi is a name given to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter. That means, for any circle, you can divide the circumference (the distance around the circle) by the diameter and always get exactly the same number. It doesn't matter how big or small the circle is, Pi remains the same. Pi is pronounced "pie," just like the dessert.

Francesca Kavalir
Francesca coordinated a group of volunteers to help her create a day that felt more like fun and less like learning.

Approximately 70 students learned new skills, gained new perspective on the subject and enjoyed math activities. The event also included raffle prizes and, of course, pie.

The event was preceded by a smaller practice Pi Day at her church and a Pi Day T-shirt contest with her student council.

“While science has its labs, and English has various projects, I’ve often seen math lack interactive activities for students,” Francesca said. “Though math is highly promoted, it’s often masked with the fa├žade of being only equations and tests. The math activities my volunteers and I ran helped to change this view.”

Francesca is an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 50740 in Mt. Lebanon and graduates from Mt. Lebanon High School in the spring. She is the daughter of Jack and Michele Kavalir.

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