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Mathematical Celebration for Ultimate Pi Day

Friday, 13 March 2015

The 14th of March may be just an ordinary day for most, but in the world of Mathematics it is known as ‘Pi Day’. The 14th of March written in numbers in the order of month followed by day is 3.14, which is of course the first three digits of Pi.

This year was extra special, an event that only happens every 100 years – ‘Ultimate Pi Day’! On Ultimate Pi Day, the month and day – 3.14 – is followed by the last two digits of the year – 15 – and a special time in hours, minutes and seconds – 9:26:53am – to give the first ten digits of Pi: 3.141592653!

At Hesketh House Junior Girls’ School, Year 6 celebrated Pi Day on Friday the 13th of March with a number of fun activities throughout the morning.

The day started with a lighthearted Mathematics story, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi. In this fictional tale Sir Cumference is turned into a dragon! It’s up to his son, Radius, to save him by administering a magic potion – but first he must figure out the correct dose. The story introduced pupils to the formula Circumference = Diameter x Pi.

This was followed by giving the girls the opportunity to test out this knowledge. They measured a number of pies and calculated that the result of circumference divided by diameter always results in Pi. They celebrated the findings by indulging in helpings of pork pie, meat and potato pie and a selection of fruit pies!

After a quick break, the girls spent some time learning about the parts of a circle and decorating paper plates to show the different parts.

Then came the team memory challenge. Pupils were allowed to organise themselves into teams of up to eight people. The task was simple: memorise as many digits of Pi as possible. Thus ensued a frantic twenty minutes of chanting, star jumps, quizzing, sign language, and states of concentrated meditation as pupils worked together to commit as many digits to memory as they could.

The winning team manage to recount 100 digits of Pi flawlessly, which was very impressive indeed!

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The girls tried lots of methods to memorise the digits of Pi

The girls tried lots of methods to memorise the digits of Pi

Memorising Pi: no easy feat!

Memorising Pi: no easy feat!

Labelling the parts of a circle on a paper plate

Labelling the parts of a circle on a paper plate