Sir George Simpson students will join thousands around the world Thursday to celebrate all things π.
March 14 is Pi Day. Established by San Francisco physicist Larry Shaw in 1988, the day is an excuse for mathematicians everywhere to celebrate everyone’s favourite irrational number.
Abbreviated as 3.14, pi (or “π”) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and is constant regardless of the size of the circle.
Pi turns up everywhere in nature and is important in art and architecture, said math teacher Megan Girard, who has helped organize Pi Day at Sir George Simpson for the last decade.
“Any time there’s a circle, you’re going to be thinking about pi.”
Pi Day falls on March 14 as that date abbreviates to 3/14 (pi’s first three digits), reports the San Francisco Exploratorium (the home base of Pi Day). To celebrate it, guests there eat pie and perform the famous Pi Procession, where they march precisely 3.14 times around the Pi Shrine holding the digits of pi mounted on sticks while a computerized voice reads out pi’s digits to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Girard said Simpson students will have pi-related math lessons Thursday before partaking in pie and watching a school-made music video on the number. Some will take part in a relay race replete with circular objects and will compete to see who can recite the most digits of pi.
“Our school record is over 400 digits,” Girard said.
Girard said Pi Day helps make math less intimidating and more memorable for students.
www.exploratorium.edu/pi has more on Pi Day.