Sanity Savers, STEM Edition: Pi Day Party

Presented by National Grid

Written By Dan Walsh
STEM Educator

Supplies needed:  

Paper plates, scissors, crayons, pencil, markers 


Build time: 5-10 minutes   

Academic Subjects: 


Directions for Pi Day Pie Party!    

Happy Belated Pi day! Pi is the distance around the circle also known as circumference, divided by the distance across. In other words, the circumference of any circle is approximately 3.14 times its diameter. Since pi is an irrational number, it has an infinite number of digits. Pi day is March 14th, so let’s celebrate by having a pie party! We will be taking our pie plates and cutting pieces out of them, also known as fractions.  

1.)  Begin by deciding how many pies you would like. For each pie you need one paper plate. 

2.)  Each pie can be sliced into different fractions. Draw a straight line across the middle of your plate.

3.)  From there you can break your pie up into different fractions. A good place to start is with halves. On each side of the plate label it one half. Then color it in. 

4.)  Next let’s try out a new fraction on a new plate. Draw a line down the middle, and then horizontally. Label each piece one fourth.  

5.)  Once you have labeled and colored your slices of pie, cut them out. 

6.)  Mix the slices of pie up to see if you can put the pies back together! 

Vocabulary words:  

Fraction– Part of a whole number. For this activity the fractions were slices of pie.  
Geometry– the kind of mathematics that deals with shapes. 

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Storytime: Ms. Cassie reads Computer Decoder

Storytime: Ms. Cassie reads Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist by Andi Diehn.

Dorothy Vaughan loved things that made sense―especially numbers! In Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist, elementary-aged children follow Dorothy’s journey from math teacher to human computer and beyond, a journey made difficult because she was an African American woman working during a time of segregation. Dorothy worked incredibly hard to meet the challenges that greeted her at every turn and rose to the level of supervisor, the first black supervisor in the history of her company! But another challenge awaited when a mechanical computer threatened to replace the teams of human computers. How will Dorothy figure out this problem?

For more Storytime stories click here!

Sanity Savers: Movement Activity

Special thanks to the Parent Network of Western New York.

This is a movement break activity based on the “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” song. This activity is intended to get kids moving while also helping them to learn their body parts.


• Roll dice. The first roll will be to identify a body part to replace “head” in the song. The second roll corresponds
to “shoulders”, third roll with “knees”, and final roll for “toes”.
• Once you have 4 new body parts, insert the new body parts into the song.
• Sing the song aloud while identifying the body parts as they are sung. It may take a few tries to get it right!
*If you have extra dice and markers you can color your dice to match the chart.

Download the PDF directions here.

For more Sanity Savers click here!

Storytime: The Legend of the Teddy Bear

Special thanks to our friends at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site for their help in making this video!

In honor of President’s Day, today we’re reading The Legend of the Teddy Bear by Frank Murphy. While nearly everyone has a memory of their own favorite tattered teddy bear, the details of the day President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear have been lost to time.

For more Storytime stories click here!

Sanity Savers, STEM Edition: Christine Darden’s Paper Jets

Presented by National Grid

Written By Dan Walsh
STEM Educator


Paper, hole puncher, rubber band 


10 minutes 

Academic Subjects:  


ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems- Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints)

Directions for Christine Darden’s Paper Jets:  

Christine Darden is an American mathematician, data analyst, and aeronautical engineer who devoted much of her 40-year career in aerodynamics at NASA to researching supersonic flight and sonic booms

People Focused Shareable
  1. Start by folding your paper in half.
  2. Open the piece of paper back up. Fold each half at an angle to form a triangle at the top of your paper.  
  3. Fold the top edges to the center line and then close the paper. 
  4. Fold the wings down to meet the bottom of the body. 
  5. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole at the very tip of the nose. 
  6. Pull a rubber-band through the hole. 
  7. Using both hands, hold the rubber-band from both ends. Pull one side of the rubber-band through the other. 
  8. The rubber-band should be secured to the plane. 
  9. Make sure the area is clear, using both hands, hold the back of the plane and pull the rubber-band back with your other hand. Using both hands, hold the back of the jet and the rubber-band. Once the area is clear let go of both the rubber-band and jet at the same time! Watch how fast it goes!

Christine Darden’s Paper Jet’s Vocabulary: 

Geometry– A branch of mathematics that deals with shapes, lines, and points. 
Orbit– The path of an object around particular point in space. 

For more Storytime stories click here!

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