How many spherical objects with an approximate radius of 0.25” will fit into a cylindrical jar with a diameter of 3” and a height of 5.5”? This was just one of the many activities at the St. Didacus Math Family Night event last Wednesday that packed the parking lot and filled the auditorium. Over 100 students participated, with scores of parents and staff members promoting mathematics as a fun and challenging subject, thus curing you of a possible case of “arithme-phobia.”
Students ranging in age from 5 to 14 sat at tables and worked a multitude of math challenges, including toothpick puzzles, origami shapes, making correct change, and taking the 24 challenge – where you use a variety of integers and operations to arrive at the number ’24.’ Students were paired off using mental math skills to see how far they could compute addition and multiplication of numbers in their head. The room was abuzz with excitement and enthusiasm as students moved from one activity to the next – never bored. You could hear the inquisitive comments fill the room:
“How do I do this?”
“Is this correct?”
“What is symmetry?”
“This is fun!”
It was a night that would have made Pythagoras, Newton, and Hypatia of Alexandria proud. It was a great night that brought parents, students, and staff together for the purpose of enjoying and exploring mathematics. This night reaffirms our goal of empowering our students to be spiritually, academically, and socially prepared to live today and tomorrow both morally and effectively.