What is Pi Day?

Ava Rose Weisberg, Contributor

Pi Day is an international holiday founded in 1988 by Larry Shaw which takes place on the fourteenth of March, or 3/14, which just so happens to be the first three digits of pi as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday. The holiday was originally recognized by a circular parade and the consumption of fruit pies. A favorite holiday for mathematicians and pastry enthusiasts alike, Pi Day is now annually celebrated by competitions in which individuals recite as many digits of the fathomless and unending irrational number as they can, the winners of such competitions naturally being rewarded with pie for their efforts. To date, the longest recital of pi was achieved by Rajveer Meena on the 21st of March in 2015, on which day he recited 70,000 digits of pi while blindfolded.

The King’s Academy, always eager to encourage students to reach their full potential, is one of the many schools that celebrates this holiday, and this year, students in grades seven through twelve were rewarded a slice of pie for memorizing twenty or more digits of pie, although the standard was held even higher for members of The National Math Honor Society, as members of this group were made to memorize a minimum of thirty digits instead of twenty. While many children were happy to memorize only the required amount of pi in order to receive their pastry, quite a few of the students went much farther, aiming to name more digits of pi than any of their classmates. After the end of the day when all the contestants had competed and the scores were in, the school was proud to announce the winners of both the class Pi Day competitions as well as the top three contestants in the individuals’ competition. Of all of the middle school and high school classes at King’s, no other class had more students compete in the Pi Competition than Mr. Palazini’s fourth period AP Calculus, beating Mrs. Raine’s Pre-Algebra Honors class by only three percent. However, while Mr. Palazini and Mrs. Raines were thrilled with the class competition winners, the entire school was wowed by the individuals’ competition results. This year, Jackie Liu of The Class of 2021 was able to memorize 130 digits of pi, therefore placing third in the competition. Placing second, Camden Popadic, also of The Class of 2021, memorized 259 digits. Finally, through hard work and discipline, Elvis Hao of The Class of 2023 wowed the school by memorizing an astounding 400 digits of pi, in spite of being on the younger half of students competing. Elvis’s victory really brings to mind First Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” Rather than being discouraged by the number of upper classmates that he would have to compete against, Elvis worked hard to achieve his goal as the winner of the TKA 2020 pi competition and won. Elvis is an example to all of us that we can achieve whatever goal we set our minds to, no matter our age.