Pi Day Fun!
by Jordin Lim
Pi Day, celebrated March 14, is the celebration of mathematical constant 𝝅, due to its numerical date (3.14) representing the first three digits of pi.
Fun fact: Pi Day also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday
Physicist Larry Shaw, who found Pi Day in 1988, had the first Pi Day celebration at his place of work, the Exploratorium, a San Francisco-based interactive science museum. However, Pi Day was not deemed a national holiday until 2009, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation making it one.
Although our Science Academy students are more than well-acquainted with pi, it is still useful to note what it is and its significance in everyday life.
What is pi?
Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is most commonly credited to be the first to accurately calculate the approximate value of pi. In mathematics, pi is the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, regardless of its size.
Fun fact: The word “pi” itself is derived from the first letter of the Greek word perimetros, meaning circumference.
What is the significance of pi?
Although you may not find yourself using pi every day, pi is used in many calculations for buildings and construction, engineering, and many other fields. In addition, NASA regularly uses pi to calculate trajectories of spacecraft. Not only that, but pi gives us a reason to feast on pie every March 14, although who really needs a reason to eat pie any day of the year?
Pi Day Festival
On March 17, Science Academy held our infamous Pi Day Festival, which had to be delayed to the new date due to rain on March 14. This festival consisted of many fun activities and carnival games, including ring toss, pie eating contests, and even throwing whipped cream pies at the teachers! (I saw a catapult at this event, and I hope it was used) In addition, there were other booths selling refreshments and giving students their pre-ordered pizzas.
The prizes given out at the carnival games were quite great – many people entered their class after lunch bearing multitudes of stuffed animals – I personally won two lollipops myself.
I hear the Pi Day Festival is a fan favorite among the student body, so I can’t wait to see it again next year!