Kids celebrate Pi Day with messy lessons in math

- Pies were the theme at Curtis Hixon Park Wednesday morning; dessert pies, pizza pies, and Pi, as in 3.14.

The goal was to celebrate Pi Day by blending fun and education.

"We love brain-building play, so what we try doing here is inspire that, in a multitude of ways," Glazer Children's Museum President & CEO Jennifer Stancil said. "Brain-building play can be happening inside of our theater, or it can be happening out here with a pie fight, but regardless, it's parents building moments and memories with their kids, when they play with purpose."

Nearly 200 kids wore goggles and dressed in blue and green ponchos to protect their clothes and eyes from 700 shaving-cream pies made for the event, put on by the Glazer Children's Museum and sponsored by the Tampa Pizza Company.

A playful Albert Einstein kicked off the event on the day of the real Einstein's birthday.

With Mozart music playing in the background, the pies went flying.

"[It was] super fast-paced, just pies everywhere," Tampa parent Emily Hone said.

She brought her seven-year-old son, Anthony. Before throwing pies at his mother, he was asking questions about Einstein. A win-win for mom.

"It's been a great conversation starter," she said. "When the subject matter is fun, it's so much easier to pick up, to absorb, to teach. Learning should be fun, and this definitely made it so."

Hone was one of the few parents to put on a poncho and get in on the messy fun. Most parents watched and cheered from outside the boundary.

The pie throwing lasted around 10 minutes. Afterward, the kids ate pizza and were encouraged to discuss the related,  yet challenging topic of fractions.

175 kids registered for the Pi Day celebration this year, up from 50 for the inaugural one last year.

Stancil hopes the event will continue to grow and that more of the museum's events can take advantage of Curtis Hixon Park.

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