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MacKillop close to breaking world record on Pi Day

TO commemorate Pi Day last month, MacKillop Catholic College formed a giant human pi symbol (Greek letter ‘π’) in an attempt to break a world record.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest human pi symbol was created in Germany in 2014.

“When we heard that it took 589 people to form that record-breaking symbol, we knew we had a chance to aim for at least 590, given our student enrolment is around 560 students,” mathematics teacher Rebecca Prenter said.

“It is such a great way to get all our students excited by maths and to bring the whole College together.”

The attempt was unsuccessful, but principal Eamonn Pollard said it was a great community-building exercise.

“There was a strong focus on learning and community spirit and it was just a way to have some fun,” he said.

“It’s a creative way to enhance people’s learning and increase their interest in mathematics and general learning.”

A competition was also held to see who could quote pi to the most decimal places.

A student was able to recite more than 100 digits, while a former staff member quoted more than 300.

Students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic School, John Paul II Catholic School and Guilford Young College were also involved on the day.

Founded by American physicist Larry Shaw in 1988, Pi Day celebrates the mathematical constant π, representing the ratio between the circumference of a circle and the diameter.

The date of 14 March was chosen because the digits in the date – 14/3 – are the first three significant details of pi (3.14).

Pi has been calculated to more than one trillion digits beyond its decimal point.

Caption: An aerial shot of the human pi symbol formed by students at MacKillop Catholic College.