Pi Day – so much more than 3.14 !

The 14th of  March – often written as 3.14 – is Pi Day around the world.

The Greek letter Pi is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant which is approximately 3.14159, which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. 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 memorise . . . as we discovered at our special Pi Day Assembly which was organised by Mr Collins and the Math team in the Auditorium for secondary students on 15 March 2018.

Two of our secondary students, Danny and Magid, did a fine job presenting our unique approach to Pi Day celebrations with the annual GCS Pie Off Day.  Intrepid student, Nadine, was chosen to recite the Pi digits and was dong really well . . . and then made a mistake!  Nadine was rewarded with a cream pie in the face, which she accepted with good grace, to a mix of much chuckling and sympathy from our secondary students seated in the Auditorium.

After a quick game of Kahoot for all students, we welcomed the highlight of Pi Day . . . the challenge to break the current GCS record for reciting Pi, which currently stands at 152 digits!  Sarah Tharakan, our current Pi Champion, was the brave Grade 6 student who took on the challenge.  She started off very confidently in her unique style of memorising and reciting the digits in groups of five, rather like a poem.  As she continued there were a few pauses and falters, but she soon got back in her stride, flawlessly carrying on.

As she got closer to the current Pi record of 152 digits the crowd of students, who had been watching with baited breath and willing her on to succeed, was in delighted uproar as she flew passed the 152 digits with absolute confidence.  With everybody cheering her on,  Sarah continued reciting for an incredible 100 additional digits!  We are so proud of Sarah – well done.

Our GCS teacher’s band and choir rounded off the celebrations with a highly energetic rendition of the Pi song.

Also joining us at Pi day was a representative of the KenKen UAE office to talk about the upcoming KenKen competition and the fabulous chance to win a trip to New York. KenKen is the UAE’s largest puzzle championship.  It is essentially a grid based numerical puzzle that uses basic math operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, while also challenging student’s logic and problem solving skills.  We have run this competition at GCS for the past 2 years with great success.  With registration closing for this year’s event on 22 March – come on GCS – let’s do the school proud again this year and get practicing your KenKen!

As well as KenKen we have another Maths Competition coming up – the University of Waterloo Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing Mathematics Problem Solving Competition.  Open to Grade 6 – 11 students, this is an internationally recognised contest that develops student’s mathematical problem solving abilities of students.  The closing date for entries is also 22 March – and we are delighted that nearly 40 GCS students have already signed up.

 

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