Pi Day Celebration

03 April 2024

On Thursday, March 14, Glenaeon celebrated international Pi (π) Day.

Why this date? Because when we write the date in the form month/day (3/14), the 3, 1 and 4 correspond to the first three digits of pi. π is a Greek letter, pronounced “pi.”

Pi is an irrational number, meaning that when expressed as a decimal it continues indefinitely without repeating a pattern. Therefore, it cannot be expressed as a fraction, although we often use the fraction 22/7 to approximate pi. The first 10 digits of pi are 3.1415926535.

The uses of π are far reaching, but most high school students encounter pi in their study of circles. No matter the size of the circle, the ratio of circumference to diameter is always π!

At Glenaeon, some Year 10 students celebrated Pi Day by participating in an activity called Daring Deflection (part of the 2024 NASA Pi Day Challenge). They calculated the change in orbit of an asteroid named Dimorphos after it was impacted by the DART Spacecraft in 2022.

Similarly, some Year 9 students participated in an activity named Tubular Challenge (also part of the NASA Pi Day Challenge). They calculated the volume of rock that the Perseverance Mars rover coring bit collects when it drills into the surface of Mars to collect samples to send back to Earth for study.

Other students engaged with Pi Day in a creative way, drawing column graphs where the heights of the columns are the digits of pi, creating a “city of pi” resembling skyscrapers.

The highlight of the day was a pi recitation contest at lunchtime. It was a delight to see so many students turn up to either participate or spectate. Congratulations to all our participants. Sophia B. of Year 8 was able to recite pi to 163 decimal places, a truly remarkable achievement!

We look forward to making Pi Day an annual event at Glenaeon!