Kings Monkton ‘Pi-lights’ the power of iconic maths theory

Students at Cardiff school celebrate #PiDay and its unique Welsh history

Year six pupils at Kings Monkton School in Cardiff have celebrated one of the world’s most iconic maths theories and its unique connection to Wales.

Students had fun using the method to discover Pi in their very own classroom by calculating the area and circumference of real life pies.

Taking place on Monday 14 March, Pi Day Cymru saw people of all ages in Wales involved in a range of activities aimed at inspiring them to embrace more uses of maths in everyday life.

At Kings Monkton pupils were led by their teacher Alison Turner in a special lesson focusing on Pi and its everlasting relevance within the modern world.

She said: “As a subject Maths doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves despite the fact that it’s pretty much impossible to get through a day without using maths in some way. The world is full of numbers and problems that need to be solved – and maths skills are the tool that can make sense of it all.

“We’ve had a lot of fun celebrating National Pi Day Cymru and it’s a joy to see our pupils here at Kings Monkton showing such enthusiasm for learning about Pi.”

Year six pupils Amber James-Hardy and Ibrahim Al Shuaibi from Kings Monkton school tuck into their share of Pi

Wales in particular has a unique claim to the maths phenomenon that started in 1706, as William Jones from Anglesey was the first person to use the Greek letter π or pi to represent the mathematical constant.

Pi Day Cymru is the brainchild of Professor Gareth Fffowc Roberts, Emeritus Professor at Bangor University, who last year received the backing of the Welsh Government to establish the date as an official day of national celebration in Wales.

Following this year’s campaign, Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis AM, has said he is hugely encouraged by the volume of learners across Wales who had marked the day by investigating the theory for themselves, using local landmarks and other objects for guidance.

Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, who launched this year’s campaign, said: “As a nation so steeped in the history of Pi, the need to ensure future generations are made aware of and inspired by its power is very real.

“Knowing that so many of our young learners have been out putting Pi into action in honour of such an ingenious and mathematically talented forefather is not only heartening, it is also critically important in inspiring the next generation to break new ground in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering.”

Pi is an irrational number and not even the most powerful computers have managed to calculate its exact value but, for years, people have had fun trying to memorise as many of its digits as they can.

America has been celebrating National Pi Day since 1988 and other countries have followed suit since then, acknowledging the pivotal role pi has played in engineering and technology.

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