Misericordia University Teacher Education and Math Club students offered lessons on sorting, patterns, symmetry and fractions during a fun and entertaining Math Day at St. Jude School in Mountain Top. More than 30 Misericordia students provided fun and engaging ways for 200 students in pre-k through 8th grades at St. Jude to learn about and appreciate mathematics.
Steven Tedford, Ph. D., of Mountaintop, associate professor of mathematics at Misericordia University, and his wife, Veronica, a former collegiate professor of mathematics, coordinated the program.
The program culminated with St. Jude School students and Principal Sister Ellen Fischer, S. C. C., presenting a $250 check to Christine Somers, D. Min., director of Campus Ministry at Misericordia University. The parochial school students raised the money through dress down day contributions. The donation will be used by Misericordia’s Campus Ministry as it support efforts to help a family of Syrian refugees establish residency in the area.
It was the third year that the two schools collaborated to celebrate mathematics in honor of Pi Day (3.14). Pi (Greek letter “p”) represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. The theme for the 2016 event was “Mathematics in Nature.” The Misericordia students offered a variety of activities geared to the ages of the St. Jude students, using pinecones, small pears, leaves, seashells, flowers and other ties to nature.
Math Day is a service project for the Math Club and the service-learning component of the Intro to ECE and Math Methods II courses the teacher education majors are taking at Misericordia University. It is also an opportunity for the future teachers to gain hands-on experience working with children in a real-world learning environment and engaging them in activities that make math fun.
“This year we were able to pair first-year education majors with juniors and seniors in the teams working with the St. Jude students,” added Michele Brague, Ed. D., assistant professor of teacher education, who helped coordinate the event. “The first-year students were excited for the opportunity to interact with the youngsters, and from their experiences, provided feedback to the upper-class students. It was a great learning experience for all of them and provided an unexpected and extremely worthwhile outcome.”