Did you know that March has two major days of celebrations? That’s right, two! We are all familiar with the big one, St. Patrick’s Day. However, there is another day of celebration that we all should be stoked about. International Pi Day of course. If you haven’t heard about this day, it’s ok. I am here to answer your questions as to why should you be celebrating Pi Day!
Every year, March 14th marks the annual festivities of Pi Day, a holiday that pays homage to the mathematical constant most of us learned back in geometry class. I remember that day vividly. Mr. Sanders brought in fresh baked pies from the local bakery. You could smell the pies as you walked in the doors of the classroom. I’ll admit, I had a lot more fun eating the pies than actually learning about the mathematical constant Pi.
So what is Pi?
Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.
Why is Pi Day even a thing?
Pi Day isn’t just a time for so called “nerds” to celebrate. Pi Day gives us the chance to create fun and energy around a topic that, often times, seems difficult. Mr. Sanders did this for my class by bringing in actual pies. The best part was that one of us had the chance to smash a pie in his face at the end of class if we could answer all his Pi questions correctly. As if the fresh baked pies weren’t enough! It’s more of an excuse to create excitement and show the fun side of learning math. That’s why we should celebrate Pi Day.
Why is Pi still such a cool topic after all these years?
Hundreds of years have passed since this mathematical constant was introduced and yet there is so much more we have learned. There’s no way for us to figure out what Pi is and that’s kind of an odd and curious thing for mathematicians. We’re getting closer and closer to figuring out the answer. A few hundred years ago, we knew a few digits of Pi. In the middle of the 20th century, we started getting into the thousands of digits. What’s even crazier than that, is now the world record of digits for Pi is in the trillions. Isn’t that amazing? This kind of equation speaks volumes for scientists and mathematicians striving to always discover new answers to their questions.
How has the Pi symbol has found a home in our culture?
There is a certain mystery about this mathematical constant. It’s like everybody has heard of it, yet, nobody knows about it. In my opinion, that is why we as a culture are so fascinated by it. The symbol for Pi “π” has found its way into cartoons, movies and fashion.
For some, understanding this mathematical constant is a lifelong pursuit. For others, like myself, Pi Day is simply a fun and educational day that should be celebrated every March 14th. How are you going to celebrate Pi Day? I have a great idea for you….
Join us our Pi and Puzzles Jubilee Evenr on Saturday March 11th
Here at The Leonardo, we are kicking off the celebration a couple of days early. Join us on March 11th at our Pi and Puzzles Jubilee event. Our Pi and Puzzles Jubilee is sure to be a very fun and educational day for people of all ages.
Here’s what’s happening:
- The Irrational Pi Chain- Pi is an irrational number meaning it never ends. Add a link to our Pi Chain to see how many decimals of Pi we can count to.
- Create a Star Catcher- Dreams can sometimes be puzzling but when you make a Star catcher you might be able to unravel their mysteries.
- Design a Pi cityscape – By using graph paper and the numbers from Pi, create a cityscape that you can decorate.
- Dream Rocket Project- Draw and paint on a canvas with the theme of ‘Dream Forward’ It will then become a part of six, 2’x2’ works of art that will be on display during an exhibit at Willow Park Elementary School in Logan in April 2017. Then it will be sent to the Dream Rocket Project to be added to the Space Launch System Rocket Replica. More information can be found at thedreamrocket.comwww.thedreamrocket.com
- Pi Eating Contest- How fast can you devour a pi? This exciting competition will be open to the public and held at noon and 2 pm. Spots are limited so make sure to register early!
- Riddle me This – Can you solve all of the riddles around the museum? There may be a prize if you can…
- Puzzle Place- If you enjoy puzzles than this is the place for you!
- Math Medley: A Taste of Modern Research “Ever wondered what a mathematician does? Well, prepare to meet six real life mathematicians! Come hear some math graduate students from the U talk about their research and life as a mathematician. No math background required.
- Particpate in pi-related activities
- And so much more!
We hope to see you there! For full details about our Pi and Puzzles Jubilee event, visit our website here!