New Mexico Junior College Knows How to Make Learning Fun!

Pi Day is always a great holiday, but New Mexico Junior College (NMJC) really knows how to make it a true celebration! The college, with the generous support of local businesses and organizations, hosts the Pi Day Fair and Celebration, an event that involves 150 volunteers sharing educational games and fun activities with the local community.

This year, more than 1,700 people attended! Several attendees were elementary school students who had fun playing around as they visited booths teaching them about volume, circumference, Cartesian divers, the Mobius strip, and much more. As the event’s lead organizer, Professor of Mathematics Shyla McGill, said, “Pi Day takes math off its ivory tower pedestal and puts it back in the toy box where it belongs.”

Twenty-nine booths with math and science activities were staffed and ready for community members to have fun while thinking critically, building, and experimenting.

One booth had bubble supplies that allowed participants to blow square and rectangular bubbles and find their volume.

Participants blow into cube-shaped bubble contraptions.

Another booth showed how pressure, not suction, keeps Pressure Pullers together. Participants tried their best to pull them apart.

A volunteer and young attendee are about to see how pressure, not suction, keeps the Pressure Pullers together.

Many kids learned about Cartesian divers and made their own using glue guns, pipe cleaners, glitter, food coloring, hoops, and hooks.

Kids are about to test out their Cartesian divers outside.

A volunteer shows a young participant his Cartesian diver inside a 2-liter bottle of water.

If you were there, you could have even pretended you were Einstein!

A child gets his picture taken as Albert Einstein.

NMJC’s chapter of the math honor society Mu Alpha Theta plans year-round for this event, and you can tell it was well worth all the effort and preparation! The day was a success filled with education, discovery, and fun.

“Many parents and grandparents are tired of using the line:  ‘I can’t do math,'” said McGill. “They don’t want that excuse for their children, and they definitely don’t want their children held back because they couldn’t do the math. Parents are hungry for ways to  build justified confidence and comprehension in math and science because they know that is a direct path to success.”

New Mexico Junior College’s momentous Pi Day event was the work of several local business sponsors and organizations:

  • The Community Drug Coalition of Lea County
  • New Mexico Junior College
  • Urenco
  • Mu Alpha Theta (NMJC chapter)
  • Tate Branch Auto Group
  • La Tienda Grocery Store
  • Pizza Inn
  • Big Cheese Pizza
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • O&S Oil Quick Change
  • Rebecca Long Farmers Insurance
  • Walmart
  • The Maddox Foundation

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