Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

At Sherman Oaks school, Pi Day went by the numbers

March 14, 2012 |  6:12 pm


This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

In Sherman Oaks on Wednesday, pie made pi's day.

Millikan Middle School went all out to honor one of math's most famous numbers: 3.14. Otherwise known as pi. The date was ideal: March 14.

The number, which represents the relationship between a circle’s diameter and circumference, was at the heart of the school's third annual Pi Day, courtesy mostly of the teachers and parents at Millikan Math Academy.

Of course, there was a pie-eating contest. Pizza pies for lunch, anyone? Students even got to throw pies at the principal.

Naturally, there was math involved too. Eighth-grader Sungmoo Scott Jeong won a contest by reciting pi's next 1,103 digits.

"I practiced every single day, three or four hours a day, for a week," said Jeong, 13. "I really wanted to win this year."

He certainly must have. Last year, he recited more than 200 and came in third place.

His prize this time around: $314.15. For those who were able to recite pi's first 50 digits, the prize was blue Pi Day T-shirts. More than 300 of those were given away.

It took more than 100 parent volunteers and four math teachers to pull off the hourlong fund-raiser. Previously, the school had sold tickets to the event, but this time around organizers sold pizza, pie and tickets to the contests.  

"This was the biggest it's ever been," parent Jennifer Marshall said.

Michelle Yamasaki, who oversees the academy's 160 students, said that getting a teenager excited about math can be hard.

"This is a time where kids who are not good at math have a good time with a number," Tamasaki said. "They all get into it.”

For the record, 5:05 p.m. March 15: A previous version of this post misspelled teacher Michelle Yamasaki's last name as Tamasaki.


Pi Day: Schools celebrate math with desserts

Boy's mom makes him hold 'I am a thief' sign for skateboard theft

Southland students meet Obama during national science competition

-- Matt Stevens

Photo: Dean Sherman Gardin takes a pie in the face from a student during Pi Day at Millikan Middle School in Sherman Oaks on Wednesday. The event was hosted by the Math Academy at the school in honor of National Pi Day. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times