Students celebrate Pi Day on March 14 because 3.14 are the first three digits of the infinite number with more than 10 trillion digits.
Most commonly known as simply 3.14, pi is the circumference of any circle, divided by its diameter. However, the numbers after the decimal don’t stop at .14 — they go on forever.
This has sparked a tradition of introducing Pi Day at schools on March 14, which puts students’ memorization skills to the test. The day is a celebration of mathematics and the date represents the first three numerical digits of pi.
The world record for most memorized digits of pi is 67,890 digits.
New Franklin Elementary School students probably won’t come close to breaking that record, but the competition was introduced last year and will be held again Friday. Principal George Shea was impressed by students in Grades 3-5 at last year’s Pi Day. The fifth-grade winner of the memorization contest, Rose Coviello, recited 88 digits of pi by memory.
Rose’s father was inspired by the impact of the challenge on the student population. Tony Coviello is a co-owner of Portsmouth’s Summit Engineering PLLC, a structural engineering consulting firm.
“The big topic among the engineering community is getting more and more kids involved with STEM initiatives, getting them to understand the importance of science and math at a young age,” he said in a press release. “When I saw the excitement that this simple competition generated within the New Franklin community, I knew that this was an opportunity to do something.”
Summit Engineering is sponsoring the school’s Pi Day this year. The winners from each grade will be awarded a gift certificate for $31.41.
Coviello reached out to other local engineering, architecture and banking businesses in Portsmouth and said several want to get involved as well, but for now, he and Shea have decided to keep the event small. Coviello may reach out to other local elementary schools to see if they would be interested in participating in the future.
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