One way to get students excited about learning math is to create a holiday for one of the discipline’s most iconic numbers: pi, or 3.14.

March 14 was National Pi Day, and Ann Lyon’s ninth-grade math class at Mission High School celebrated with pi-centric poems, pie eating, jewelry-making and recitations of the seemingly infinite number.

Pi is a staple of many geometric formulas. When multiplied by the radius of a circle and squared, pi equals the circle’s total area. Pi can also be used to find the volume of a cylinder when multiplied by the radius of the base, squared, and multiplied by the cylinder’s height: V = πr2h.

Recognizing that grade-schoolers in the United States are increasingly being outperformed by children in other countries, Congress passed a resolution in 2009 creating the annual holiday to support increased attention to math and science in American schools.

“Mathematics and science can be a fun and interesting part of a child’s education,” the House resolution reads, “and learning about Pi can be an engaging way to teach children about geometry and attract them to study science and mathematics.”

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