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Lansing Middle School holds Pi Day contest

Pi Graphic3.14159265359. How far can you pi? Students at Lansing Middle School recently proved they are up for the task of learning more about pi, by competing in a friendly competition to see how long they could recite it for.

Pi, also represented as π, is a mathematical constant found in many math and physics formulas. This year, students at Lansing Middle School held a pi contest on March 14, a day that is also known as “Pi Day” (3.14). The pi contest event was brought to Lansing thanks to LMS Enrichment Teacher Kate Bevington.

“Ever since I taught fourth grade years ago, I have enjoyed introducing my students to pi when we study place value and decimals,” said Ms. Bevington. “The students are puzzled and intrigued that even though the digits of pi go on forever, the value of pi is really only a little more than three.”

The idea for a pi contest had been forming at LMS for many years. When learning about pi, Ms. Bevington would show students videos of people who are able to recite hundreds and thousands of digits of pi. Inspired by this, LMS students began to work to memorize as many digits as they could.

Seeing the excitement of her students as they learned to recite the numbers, Ms. Bevington decided to make this year the year LMS hosted a Pi Day competition. She invited students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade to participate in a pi competition on Pi Day. Some students – including fifth-graders Kelly Miler and Adam Gossen – even assisted in the Pi Day celebrations by providing some berry pies for the event.

“Students were excited about the event and quickly got onboard with preparing,” said Ms. Bevington.

More than 50 students participated in the event, encouraging each other and applauding each other's efforts. Many students were able to memorize over 10, 20, and 30 digits. 

Notably, Dillon Cole in fourth grade and William Stallone in fifth grade memorized close to 100 digits of pi. Mia Miller-Labar in sixth grade memorized 119 digits! The overall winner was Dominick Ronsvalle, who made reciting 152 digits of pi look easy! 

To view Dominick recite 152 digits of pi, and hear his classmates cheer him on, view this video.