Poly Loves Pi Day 2023

Pi Day Trivia in Commons

The Mathematics Office was buzzing with activity early on Pi Day, March 14, as Marisa Triola ’24 recited Pi up to the 105th digit as teacher Dr. Nash Sharma listened intently. Other students lined up to try to win a great Pi Day T-shirt.

Dr. Stephen Bates and the Math Department had organized a day filled with Pi-related activities. Pi, which begins as 3.141592653, represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is written as the lowercase Greek letter π. Pi Day, founded in 1988, is observed on March 14 because 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π.

Pi Trivia Heats Up Commons
Dr. Stephen Bates Pi Day Trivia
Pi Day Maria DiCarlo

During all four of the lunch periods in Commons, Dr. Bates presided over Pi Day Trivia for Middle and Upper School students. He began by inviting Upper School students to sign into Kahoot, an educational app, on their phones to join the game. The thrilling competition was filled with various questions from serious to zany. The names of students in the lead appeared on a screen in the front of Commons with their scores. Students laughed at questions about “pumpkin pie” and cheered their classmates on as the lead changed. The top three scorers in each lunch period won Pi Day T-shirts. But Dr. Maria DiCarlo, Math Department Chair, offered very sweet Whoopie pies for all students to enjoy.

Pi Day Trivia in Commons
Beckett Zrihen ’26

Checking in the Math Office later in the day, Beckett Zrihen ’26 was now the leader having recited up to the 135th digit of Pi. During the day, any student who came to the Math Office and could recite Pi up to 10 digits, won a prize.

Pi Day logic and Sudoku puzzles of increasing difficulty were available from Dr. Sharma for anyone looking for a challenge.

Pi Photo Booth

Throughout the day, students and faculty holding signs such as “Mathlete,” “Problem Solver,” and “Certified Math Genius,” stopped by the Pi photo booth to create mementoes of the day.

Pi Day Photo Booth
Pi Day Photo Booth
Pi Day Photo Booth
Pi Day Photo Booth
Pi Day Photo Booth
Picturing Pi

In the Math Office, students created a Pi construction paper chain to illustrate Pi visually. The digits of Pi were printed out and each number corresponded to a color. For example, 9 was the color black. As students crossed off a digit, they chose the band that corresponded, wrote a message, and added the link to the chain.

Pi Day activities
Pi Day Recitation Champ
Pi Day Champion
Annakaecia Clarke ’25

The competition to recite the digits of Pi continued throughout the day, with a steady stream of competitors.

But in the end, congratulations go to an amazing math student, Annakaecia Clarke ’25, who recited the digits of Pi to 159 digits! 

Pi(e) Eating Contest: A Delicious Test of Endurance

Pi Day 2023 at Poly concluded with a Pi Eating Contest in Commons. Dr. Bates moderated the rounds as teams of five Middle or Upper School students competed. Math Department faculty filled paper plates with whipped cream and placed them in front of the Pi mathletes seated at tables. At Dr. Bates’ signal, the first contestant on each team ate all the whipped cream on his or her plate before their next teammate proceeded.

Commons reverberated with cheering that Chef Lou could hear in his office. The winning teams won Pi Day T-shirts. Who knew math could be so much fun? Poly’s Math Department, that’s who!