Students celebrate the sweet taste of academic success
Students celebrate the sweet taste of academic success
Posted on 03/21/2019
Two pictures - one of students taking pie from a table of slice and one of a student eating it

Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology recently celebrated a tasty and cerebral tradition that goes back nearly 20 years.

The students marked March 14th with both PI (the mathematical equation) and pie (the cooked stuff that tastes great).

“We think this day is more about trying to celebrate all of the different strengths that our kids have,” said teacher Katie Wynn.  “It really brings us together together as a community.”

What makes PI and 3.14 so unique. In the words of MST Teacher Michael Attan: 

"Pi is defined the circumference of circle (the perimeter length or distance around its outside) divided by its diameter.

Pi = C/d

It's a special ratio that is found all throughout nature and used in all forms of mathematics and physics.  The number is irrational.  It's decimals go on forever, and never repeat (as far as we know, and it's been calculated to over 22 trillion places past the decimal)."

PI day has been an MST tradition since the program opened its doors in 2000. Every student is able to compete by trying to recite as many digits of PI as they can memorize.  The top three students in each grade then face off in a showdown to see who can remember the most digits.

Afterwards, Wynn said, “we celebrate their amazing memorization skills with” ….wait for it … “pie!”

This year's winner was senior Rhea Thomas, who memorized 325 digits of PI. She said she started memorizing the units when her brother had a similar challenge, and for the past four years has had a "friendly competition" with a friend to prepare for the event.

"I don't really have a pattern," she said. "I try to learn them in multiples of three or five."