On May 12th, the Portsmouth School Board honored the Pi Day contest winners in the third, fourth, and fifth grades at each of the elementary schools. The contest, which, began at New Franklin Elementary School two years ago, has now expanded to include both Dondero and Little Harbour Schools. This past March, each of the schools held a competition to see how many digits of Pi could be recited by memory. Pi is an irrational number and has an unlimited number of digits beginning with 3.14159…Students set a new record this year with third grader Sydney Pettis reciting 155 numbers by memory. The New Franklin third grader showed off her skills by reciting 104 numbers for the School Board ceremony.
The New Franklin Pi Day competition grew from an individual school lunch time celebration of math to a city-wide competition this year. A local group of engineers, architects, and business owners have banded together to support the mathematical equivalent of the Scripts Spelling Bee competition.
Tony Coviello, a New Franklin school parent helped organize the event for the last two years. Said Coviello, “I saw how this event sparked excitement amongst our youngest learners around what can be a difficult concept to understand, an irrational number. Of equal importance, I saw how students encouraged and challenged one another to succeed. This was truly a community-building event and I thought it would be great to invite the business community and the other schools to be a part of it.””
Coviello reached out to local businesses this year and was able to quickly raise $500 for each of the elementary school’s parent-teacher organizations. Coviello said, “When businesses heard about this, they offered to get involved immediately. They were excited about being a part of the schools and encouraging our kids to push themselves in math.” This year’s supporting businesses were; Summit Engineering, Altus Engineering, TMS Architects, The Portsmouth Brewery, as well as individual donors. Coviello said that additional businesses have reached out to him to be involved next year.
In addition to the donations to the three schools, each grade winner received a $31.41 gift certificate to Diversions, a strategy game store in downtown Portsmouth. The grade school winners were:
Katie Yeaton (73)
Jason Yeaton (68)
Sinead Dolan (33)
Maxwell Barker (70)
Molly Grocki (70)
Luisa Morgan (78)
Sydney Pettis (155)
Morgan Ruhnke (71)
Maddie Pettis (48)
The March Pi Day celebration had special significance this year as the year cooperated with the digits producing the Month, Day, and Year on March 14, 2015 or 3/14/15.
For any further information and questions, please contact:
Anthony Coviello, PE
Summit Engineering, PLLC
111 Maplewood Ave., Suite E
Portsmouth, NH 03801