Students at the event

The Mathematics Department of the Convent High School on Wednesday joined in celebrations of International Pi Day as part of a drive to improve numeracy among students.

The school held a special assembly to mark the occasion and will continue this week with exhibitions and math competitions.

Pi Day commemorates the mathematical constant ∏ (Pi) and is celebrated on March 14 or 3/14 (3.14), the three most significant digits of ∏.

Head of the Mathematics Dept. at the CHS, Diane Bannis said the school organised the event as part of continued efforts to address poor performance in math among Dominican students.

“We are striving in Dominica to improve our mathematics and I think these little celebrations help to encourage our students. Through fun and entertainment they get to like math and that is what we are aiming for; to engender a love of mathematics,” Bannis said.

She is hoping that other schools follow CHS’ lead.

“I am hoping that by next year we will have two schools competing and then three…until we have a national day where we have a mathematics competition and just a celebration of math,” she said.

Guest speaker at the event, Learning Support Advisor (Mathematics) in the Ministry of Education and Human  Resource Development, Leandra Laidlow told the students, ∏ has great mathematical significance and no other symbol has evoked as much misconception and mystery.

“The continued calculations to find out if the ratio between the circumference and the diameter terminates are unnecessary, as all you will use is 3.14, 22/7 or 3 1/7 and CXC will tell you what value to use so do not fear Pi, especially if they are baked. Just eat,” she joked.

Laidlow also encouraged other schools to plan similar events to help develop a love of math among students.

“In the ministry of education we have asked for schools to have a numeracy plan and one of  the things we have advised is to have days like these when children experience and have fun with mathematical events,” Laidlow said.