March 13, 2010
There's so very much to celebrate today...
Now that all the St. Patrick's Day folderol is behind us, we can concentrate on this weekend's other big holiday.
Have you any idea what I'm circling around? (Couldn't resist that; it'll become clear in a moment.)
Today is March 14, or -- as some of us write it on checks -- 3.14. Yes, it's Pi Day, celebrating the mathematical constant -- you should have learned this in school -- of π. Remember? The first seven decimal places of a never-ending number: 3.1415926, also known as Pi. It is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. (Coming back to you now?)
Pi is, of course, the key element of one of the first mathematical equations you were taught: To find the area of a circle, just plug its radius (r) into the equation x = πr2 and go on to the next question.
Yes, there are people who find this fascinating. There's even a poster you can download that shows Pi's first 350,390 digits ... and it's free!
For the past three years, the St. Catherine's Math Department has invited Racine Area Catholic middle school 5th and 7th graders to celebrate Pi Day. It's a modest celebration, where St. Cat's celebrates some mathematical fun (fun and math aren't ordinarily associated with one another) with St. Cat's Angels of the future.
St. Cat's Pi Day celebration Monday will consist of three 20-minute activities and, of course, a snack time. (Could pie be involved?) This year activities include a movie and necklace-making for the 5th graders, orienteering and an internet activity for the 7th graders, and a polyhedra activity for both.
And ... if all that is not enough, let's not forget that March 14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday! So much to celebrate!