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Pi Day raises funds for good cause

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The concept was simple enough: Buy a ticket, claim victims. Jordan Redmond, executive director of the Los Alamos and White Rock Activity Centers came up with the idea for “The First Perfect Pi Day Celebration.” Pi Day alludes to March 14, which, when spelled out numerically, 314, resembles the first three digits of the mathematical constant, pi. The event was a fund raiser for the county's youth activity centers in White Rock and Los Alamos. Anyone who came down to Ashley Pond Park Thursday at 5 p.m. could raise some money and have a little fun mashing a cream pie in a victim of their selection. The event also sold real pies that came from local restaurants and bakeries. Those were only for eating, however. The event was something Redmond thought would be a great tie in with the county’s spontaneous pop up programming events. “We try to cooperate with as many of the pop up programs as we can, since we’re a county contractor, and said hmm… let’s do something big,” Redmond said. “Victims” included George Marsden of the Family YMCA, Superintendent of Schools Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos County Councilors Katrina Schmidt, James Robinson, Los Alamos Police Department Commander Oliver Morris and others. The victims fell fast and hard all afternoon as people put their money down. James Lott bought a cream pie intended Robinson. He said he didn’t really know Robinson, but “he seemed like a nice enough guy.” Los Alamos Middle School Teacher Rita Sanchez was pied by her own daughter, Elena Bauer. “You talk about rude!” Sanchez joked. But, it was only a little cream, and it was all for a good cause. Mathamuseum, a company run by Liz Martineau and Gordon McDonough, was also on hand to show people how fun math can be. Martineau said she and her husband Gordon take their math puzzles around to various schools and organizations around the state to show children the wonders of math. They are all hand made by them, either in a wood shop or on a 3D printer. Called low threshold, high ceiling math problems the puzzles they bring with them are designed to appeal to young and older children. Where young children would marvel at the results and older students would marvel at how the solution illustrates a concept. Martineau and McDonough started the company a year and a half ago after creating math puzzles for an area museum. “The whole idea is that we want to make math an action word, something you actually do with your body. ” Martineau said. This was the first time the Youth Activities Center held the event. Next year, Redmond said, the event should have an even bigger crowd. “Next year it will be on a Saturday, so everyone should be able to come,” Redmond said. To learn more about the Mathamuseum, email the company at mathamuseum@gmail.com or call 670-5069. To learn more about the Youth Activity Centers, visit the Los Alamos Family Council’s website at lafamilyouth.org.

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