Children, kicking off their two-week spring break on Monday, enjoyed a math-filled day at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver with the number pi (π) at centre stage.
March 14 is celebrated by mathematics enthusiasts as Pi Day, because, it's the third month of the year and the 14th day of the month, or 3.14, like the number, pi. It also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday, which helps get math and science nerds excited.
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"I love the number pi a lot, and also specifically this Pi Day," said Grade 12 student Jade Baanstra from Delta, who then dove into the controversy surrounding 'Super Pi Day,' or 'Ultimate Pi Day,' which was celebrated last year because after 3.14 comes 15, and it was 2015.
"This is the actual, true Pi Day," said Baanstra, pointing out that you should round up to 3.1416, because the sixth digit is 9.
"That is generally accepted in the math realm, however the common population doesn't appear to know this," the self-described math nerd said.
"I would definitely concur," said Baanstra's classmate Ana Ivkov.
Pi (π), the most widely known mathematical constant, is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It doesn't matter how big or small the circle is — the ratio stays the same.
Michael Unger, programs coordinator at H.R. MacMillian Space Centre, said this was just the first of many special days planned at the Space Centre during the spring break.
"It's Pi Day and it's a really great day for us to sort of kick off spring break and give people a little bit of insight into how we use math to understand the universe," he said. "Math is really the language of the universe."
"The high point of our day was when two girls — Grade 12 students — competed to see who could recite pi to the longest digit place, so they got the honour of leading our pi parade."
Baanstra won the competition with 100 digits, defeating her friend Ivkov in a pi rivalry that goes back to Grade 10, when she challenged Ivkov to a 'pi-off.'
"That was the worst mistake I ever made in my life. She memorized, easily, 700 digits more than me," said Baanstra, enjoying Monday's redemption.
For the children who didn't bring such a zeal for pi, there was plenty of baked pie on hand to enjoy.