Misericordia Students Hold Nature Themed Math Day Event At St. Jude School
MATH IN NATURE DAY AT ST. JUDE’S-Students from the education and math departments of Misericordia University joined with the PreKindergarten through eighth grade students at St. Jude School to celebrate Math in Nature Day. The university students devised and presented age-appropriate lessons, games, and activities relating to math in a variety of aspects in nature. Topics ranged from simple patterns, symmetry, and geometry, to fractions, measurements, and the Fibonacci number sequence. The Parent Teacher Guild provided Math in Nature souvenir packs for each child. As a “Thank You” to the college students, prior to this special day, the St. Jude students held a dress down day to raise money to donate to the Campus Ministry of Misericordia University. The donation will assist the ministry with their Easter project of delivering a nutritious Easter dinner to many local families who are in need. Shown at the donation presentation, front from left: Caitlyn McIngvale, Lukas Phillips, Matthew Banford, Grace Tedford, Rishi Patel, and Clare Grandzol. Row two: Ashley Johnson, Caitlin Cameron, Jenn Gazdick, Sr. Ellen Fischer SCC, Principal of St. Jude School; Chris Somers, Director of Campus Ministry at MU; Craig Siekierka, Mike Gottstein, Margaret Mary Ganter, and Joseph Novak. Back: Steven Tedford, Associate Professor of Mathematics at MU, and Veronica Tedford, Math in Nature Coordinator.
MATH AND SCIENCE AT ST. JUDE’S-Misericordia University student Craig Siekierka, a senior mathematics major from Moosic, helps St. Jude School 6th grade students Ethan Stoltz, center, and Evan Wejkszner, right, make a sun dial using a compass and ruler during the nature-themed Math Day program.
USING A COMPASS-Under the direction of Misericordia University student Dylan Kluber, an education major from Ridge, N. Y., St. Jude School 6th grade students Chase Pugh, left, and Brian Billig, right, learn to use a compass to make a circle for a sundial during the nature-themed Math Day program.

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.”