International Pi Day 2011 was celebrated in our usual venue of the library during the afternoon.  This event in Aquinas has grown exponentially over the years and it was really gratifying for Ms Connolly and Eoin McCrossan, Year 14, to share the event with over 140 pupils, after starting with 6 pupils back in 2005!  We had again to turn away many others on the day due to lack of space, so hopefully all those concerned will buy their tickets early next year to secure their spot because we really wanted you there!

Seventeen competitors took part in the Pi Memorisation Competition and all Year Groups were represented.  Ms Connolly was helped by a bounty of talented pupils in preparing for the event. The amazingly creative promotional, fundraising and performance aspects of Pi Day utilised these students’ skills in Art and Design, Drama, Music, Languages and, of course, Mathematics.  The main objective of Aquinas Pi Day is always to try to expose some of the personality that lurks within Maths and to highlight those colourful hues that people sometimes miss within it.  It is fair to say that everyone felt a warm and fuzzy glow this year due to the fabulous posters and banners, the awesome singing and dancing, and the melodic introductions in all our different languages.  Ms Connolly felt quite honoured that she was even able to deviate from Pi and talk about prime numbers, with no physical or verbal assault from the crowd.  Even more amazing was to hear Sean Paul Benson from Year 9 managing to manoeuvre a line about the transcendental nature of Pi into a rap!  You really don’t hear that everyday (no matter how much you want to).

 Ms Connolly would like to thank sincerely all her helpers for Pi Day this year.  The preparations started after the Christmas holidays, so it took many weeks of hard work and dedication to make Pi Day happen so successfully.  The fundraising aspect of Pi Day involved selling our ever-popular Pi Badges, Pi Tuck Supplies, tickets for the Competition, and ballots for the Pi Treasure Chest.  So far we have managed to raise over £400 for Trocaire and ‘I.O.U’ notes are still being paid back.  Special gratitude must go out to Niamh O Hara and Katherine Davies (Year 9) who have both been doggedly reliable throughout the whole campaign, and indeed to all those pupils who were so helpful and willing to give up their time.  Way to go, Pi Posse ’11!

It was a glad and sad day all at once, because although the afternoon was awash with frivolity and fun, we were aware that Eoin was celebrating his last Pi Day with us as a dinner-card-carrying Aquinas pupil.  Ms Connolly will miss Eoin’s enthusiasm and Mathematical dedication when he heads off to Oxford in September to study, (guess what?), Mathematics.  All of us nerds wish him only happiness in his pursuits.  Hopefully he will return to see us one day, garbed in his fancy dinner cloak. 

The Pi Memorisation Competition was gallantly battled by fifteen competitors and the captivated audience left with a heartfelt respect for all those who were brave enough to take on the challenge.  Our original champion, Patrick Nevin (now inYear 13), phoned us from the Aquinas Ski Trip in Switzerland and recited his attempt over Ruairi Ryland’s speakerphone.  Ruairi, from Year 9, made friends with Patrick at last year’s Pi Competition and they have remained pals ever since.  Such camaraderie forged by Pi is a beautiful and ironically rational thing.

Yet again, the support for individual competitors was fantastic.  Many members of the audience had made posters and banners for their favourites and the fan clubs of Alison McSperrin and Peter McEvoy deserve particular mention for their unbridled, maniacal enthusiasm.  The shrieks of “Oi, Oi, McEvoy” were especially rousing.

After an hour of intense contest, the results were decided and the winners announced.  Ms Connolly and Eoin presented every competitor with a prize.  The top three competitors were awarded with our all new Pi Memorisation trophies, medals and badges, which should be carried and worn with Mathematical pride at all times by the victors.  Congratulations to continuing Champion and Awesome Memory Man, Matthew Nixon (the speed of his recitation was jaw-dropping); Best Female Pi Competitor Ever and Overall Runner-up, Roisin Guthrie; and Hot on Her Heels and Very Impressive in Third Place, Alison McSperrin.  Well done, loyal Pi-ites!  May the Four(teenth of March) be with you for many years to come.

Pi Memorisation Competition 2011 Results

Champion (2011-2012)            Matthew Nixon, Year 11          (400 decimal places)

Runner-Up                               Roisin Guthrie, Year 12            (323 decimal places)

Third Place                               Alison McSperrin, Year 11       (72 decimal places)

Katie Martin, Year 9    (58 decimal places)

Meidhbhin Browne, Year 11

and Emma Martin, Year 12       (Used sign language to recite 50 decimal places!) 

Peter McEvoy, Year 10                        (45 decimal places)

Clare McAuley, Year 9                        (42 decimal places)

Patrick Nevin, Year 13             (39 decimal places)

Aine and Medb Wills, Year 8               (36 decimal places)

Marta Zborowska, Year 9                    (25 decimal places)

Ryan McClory, Year 11                       (22 decimal places)

Patrick Short, Year 13                          (20 decimal places)

Jack Langan, Year 13                           (16 decimal places)