March 22, 2024

Students showcase amazing powers of recall during ‘Pi Day’ competition

By Ed Pierce

For centuries, the mathematical concept known as “Pi” has been used by scientists, physicists, engineers, statisticians, and astronomers and now three Windham Middle School students have used their knowledge of the irrational number to showcase some unique abilities.

From left, Windham Middle School seventh graders Aiden
Sheehan, Jadrien Lindsay, and Juna Andre were the top
three participants in the school's 'Pi Day' competition
on Thursday, March 14. Juna finished first by reciting
205 digits of 'Pi" with Aiden second with 172 digits and
Jadrien placing third with 101 digits recited. 
As people all over the world celebrated “Pi Day” on Thursday, March 14, WMS math students Juna Andre, Aiden Sheehan, and Jadrien Lindsay displayed their love for the infinitely long, never-ending number in a special event at the school.

The “Pi” concept is one of the most recognizable and well-known mathematical constants. “Pi” is the Latin alphabet letter which is used as an algebraic shorthand for the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. As an irrational number, “Pi” can’t be written as a fraction and is an infinite long and repeating number that has been calculated into the trillions.

It comes about because in every circle the distance around the edge is a little more than three times the distance across, or 3.14. As 3.14 are the first three digits of the “Pi” infinite number, March 14 has become closely associated with “Pi” events worldwide, including the one held this year at Windham Middle School.

Throughout “Pi Day,” WMS students in math and science classes at the school were challenged with a variety of “Pi” games and were give opportunities to solve a range of math problems through their knowledge of “Pi.”

They also learned how everyday practical applications of “Pi” can be applied to real-world problems and certain situations. Some students learned that “Pi” can be used to calculate the size of paper rolls used in printers or in determining the size of a container that serves heating and air conditioning systems in buildings of varying sizes. Astronomers also use “Pi” to calculate the orbits and positions of planets.

The “Pi Day” activities culminated during the annual WMS “Pi Day” competition at the school where Andre, Sheehan, and Lindsay showcased their remarkable talents in a “Pi” recitation competition. It challenged them to recite as many digits of “Pi” as they possibly could from memory and using nothing but exceptional powers of recall and demonstrating impressive mathematical skills, the students were able to recite a significant number of digits of “Pi” and amaze their classmates, teachers, and school staff during the competition.

Juna's outstanding performance had the seventh grader recite an impressive 205 digits of “Pi” which was the most in the event. Aiden, a seventh grader, placed second in the competition by memorizing and reciting 172 digits of “Pi.” Jadrien, who also is in seventh grade, finished third in the event by successfully reciting 101 “Pi” digits.

“These students' achievements not only reflect their individual talents and dedication but also highlight the supportive academic environment and commitment to excellence at Windham Middle School,” said Cheryl Andre, Juna’s grandmother. “Their accomplishments serve as inspiration to their peers and educators alike, showcasing the potential for academic success within the school community.” <

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