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Happy Pi Day!

Tags: STEM
March 14, 2023 12:00 AM
By: PDE Press and Communications Office

​Our favorite pie is… math flavored?

You read that right, PDE's favorite type of pie is… pi! Pi, often represented by the Greek letter π, is the infinite and irrational mathematical constant also known as 3.141592635… (you get the idea). Because of its first three numbers being 3, 1, and 4, Pi Day is observed by mathematicians, students, and pi(e) lovers (fruit, cream, pizza, or numerical) each year on March 14th, also known as 3/14. 

But what exactly is pi? Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. For any circle (including actual pies), the distance around the edge is a little more than three times the distance across. 

Pi has interested people around the world for over 4,000 years, and while Pi Day has only been observed since the 1980s, people now celebrate it in a wide variety of ways, including eating pies, throwing pies, and discussing the significance of the number pi. In 2014, some celebrated the entire month of March as "Pi Month" since the whole month was 3/14. And in 2015, March 14th was celebrated as "Super Pi Day" to recognize the significance of the date being the first five digits of pi, 3/14/15. Individuals aren't the only ones who look forward to celebrating Pi Day each year. In 2009 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day. In 2010, Google presented a Google Doodle celebrating the holiday. Many pizza and pie restaurants even offer discounts or deals on Pi Day.

Pi may be irrational, but what's not irrational is Governor Shapiro's recently announced plan to increase funding for computer science and STEM education through PAsmart by 25% to support innovative education initiatives and practices for learners across the Commonwealth. That's more opportunities for students to learn about cool mathematical constants like pi, or even bake real pies in a culinary arts program at one of PA's more than 80 Career and Technical Centers (CTCs).

What's your favorite way to celebrate Pi Day? Maybe it's eating or baking a pie, creating pie artwork, or reciting as many digits of pi as you can remember. Whatever way you celebrate Pi Day, the possibilities are endless… like pi!

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