Write the date March 14 in numerical form, 3-14, and what do you get? It’s Pi Day!
Π (Pi) Day is celebrated in schools throughout the country to take a closer look at the number 3.14, or the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. At Harrisburg Academy, each grade in the Middle and Upper School participates in different activities that are related to this great number.
Students look for their birthdate in the list of digits of pi to see whose comes first in the infinite series. Some will make paper chains with each link color representing a different digit of pi to see that there is no pattern. Geometry students will do presentations on great ancient Greek mathematicians, many of whom tried to compute pi – not realizing it was an irrational and never-ending number.
Probably the most anticipated event of the day is the pi recitation contest. Now in its eighth year, students compete to see who can memorize the largest number of digits in pi. Everyone who can make it to 100 digits gets on the pi “honors list.” Last year’s winner, Brian Clark ’15, rattled off 776 digits after the 3, and his prize, of course, was a homemade cream pie.
But don’t despair that you can’t memorize that many digits, everyone is a winner! Thanks to Weis Markets, each and every Middle and Upper School students receives a mini-pie to enjoy on this most delicious of all days, Pi Day.