Mar 262013
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π Day – 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510………..

π The number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. It is never ending and has no pattern. On March 14, St Christopher’s celebrated Pi Day. This was also Pi Day’s 25th Anniversary. Why March 14? In the American way of writing dates March 14 is 3/14 which are the first 3 digits of Pi. In 1988, San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum set up the day to celebrate the importance of Pi and mathematics in general. It is also Albert Einstein’s birthday! The ancient Babylonians knew about Pi 4000 years ago. Supercomputers are still working on calculating more and more digits of Pi.

At St Christopher’s we celebrated by eating pies of course. We also made chains of Pi. Each digit was represented by a different colour paper. And we had a Pi memory competition entered by Haytham McDowall – Rose  (7G), Subhan Muhammad (7E), Amr Tolba (10D), Rishi Kumra (10E)  and Namita Joshua (6RLE).  Some of these students can do up to 300 digits but on the day we didn’t quite get as far as that. Namita came first with 146 places narrowly beating Haytham who managed 140 places. Well done to all.

From left to right: Subhan Mohamad, Amr Tolba, Mr Nick Wilson, Namita Joshua and Haytham McDowall

In two years’ time on Pi Day at 9.26 and 53 seconds it will be it will be 3/14/15/ 9/26/53. Namita reflects “ Techniques for remembering PI which might help everyone with PIN numbers! Numbers don’t have shapes, colours, scents or movements and memorising them can be a dreadful task. And you’re unlikely to succeed. However, giving numbers shape, texture and feel by converting them to commonplace nouns, and then connecting these nouns to form a story, makes the process so much easier. Picture this : You open a gate (8) to see a hive (5) with a tree (3) on it, hit it with a stick (6), walk to the door (4), which happened to lead to heaven (7) where an egg (0) was stuck to a stick (6), you ate a bun (1) dipped in wine (9) as you put your shoe (2) on to walk back to the gate (8) …. That was the sequence 853647061928” Smile

Amr reflects “Anyway the way I memorised Pi didn’t take as long as people would have thought. Before the event I only knew Pi = 3.1415. I copied a bunch of numbers from the internet and first of all managed 104 digits. After I heard a Year 7 student could do 300+ I tried again and memorised 202. I only decided to enter the competition a day or two before it happened. There was a lot of tension on the day and I was nervous”.