East Ridge students break Pi Day record — in June

School cancellations and blustery weather prevented East Ridge Middle School’s seventh grade students from celebrating Pi Day on the traditional date of March 14. However, a very belated celebration took place on June 20 with no less excitement.

“Better late than never,” said math teacher Maria Kay.

Students in Mrs. Kay’s math classes learned about the most famous irrational number (a number that never ends or repeats) back in March. Pi (π), is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Mathematicians have been studying this number for centuries and continue to be intrigued with its inability to terminate.

During the celebration, students were invited to participate in the premier event — The Pi Digits Recitation contest. They had been given a list of 200 digits of pi and were challenged to learn as many as possible. Students competed in their math classes. The winner in each class then participated in the final competition at the end of the school day.

Before the final competition, the students and teachers gathered in the ERMS cafeteria and enjoyed pie and other delicious refreshments.

This year, the ERMS Pi Day record was decimated, pun intended, by Kelly Barrett, who successfully recited 334 digits of pi. It took Kelly more than 15 minutes to complete the task.

When asked how she achieved this monumental feat, Kelly said, “I like to memorize things. I think of the digits as beats and rhythms because I’m a singer.”

Other classroom winners were Sienna Pilla, Milly Bradburn, Sammi Silvestri and Lizzie Kuhn. Each student took her turn in front of her peers and recited as many digits of pi as possible. When the competition was over, Kelly was announced the 2018 Day Champion, and the new ERMS record holder.