Grab Some Pie and Celebrate: Pi Day
Pi Day is a celebration of the number pi (π) that takes place on 14 March (14/3) every year. The date was chosen because the first three digits of pi are 3.14.
It all started in 1988 when physicist Larry Shaw celebrated it at the San Francisco Exploratorium. Now it’s become an international celebration among mathematicians, scientists, and math enthusiasts worldwide.
People celebrate Pi Day in all sorts of ways. It’s also a great time to teach students about the importance and applications of pi in maths and science.
At Santa Maria, we celebrated Pi Day by creating a mathematical artwork called ‘My Piece of Pi’ by writing the first 500 digits of pi in the Mercy Walk. The inspiration behind the art is to show that maths is for everyone, and that maths is everywhere. The Santa Maria café also joined in celebrating Pi Day by selling meat pies at recess.
So, what exactly is pi? It’s a special number used in math to help us measure circles. It tells us how many times the diameter of a circle can fit around its edge. You can calculate pi in lots of different ways, but one of the easiest ways is to measure the circumference and diameter of a circle and then divide the circumference by the diameter to get an estimate of pi.
Pi has all sorts of practical applications in our everyday lives, like measuring circles, engineering and construction, technology, science, and even finance. Pi is an irrational number. This means its decimal representation goes on forever without repeating. It’s been calculated to over 31 trillion digits, and it still doesn’t repeat!
There are so many interesting facts about pi. Did you know that the symbol for pi (π) was first used way back in 1706 by a Welsh mathematician named William Jones? Or that pi appears in all sorts of unexpected places in math, like probability theory and calculus? And, in 2019, a team of researchers used a supercomputer to calculate pi to a huge 31.4 trillion digits – breaking the previous record set in 2016!
Overall, pi is a fundamental mathematical constant that plays a huge role in so many different fields and everyday situations. Pi Day is a great way to get people excited about math and science and to appreciate the incredible impact these subjects have on our daily lives.
So, let’s all grab a pie and celebrate!