March 14th, displayed in the US as 3-14 is widely known as Pi day. This is in celebration of the number Pi (π).  If you have a vague recollection of grade school math, you might remember that Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. So what? Why do we even care?

Well, that one ratio just happens to have some characteristics that make it pretty interesting:

We don’t even really know its value

I know I just said that it is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, but if we translate that into numbers we find something odd. It starts with 3.14, and as you keep going further away from that decimal point, you find that it never settles into a pattern. The numbers seem random and just keep going! Computers have calculated billions of digits of pi and never found the end.

It’s everywhere

Pi appears all around us. If you start digging into the world around you, you’ll find it all over. Not only in obvious circles that you see, but even in sneaky places, like the bends of rivers! Early in his career, Einstein was studying the curves of rivers and found the average “meandering ratio” of rivers to be pi!

Its a rockstar of a number

Ok, this stepping back a tiny bit, but one of the reasons I love pi is simply because of how many people obsess over it. There are competitions for people to recall the longest verbal rendition of pie they can (and it gets quite long), just like there are spelling bees. Here’s a video of the national winner from 2014 (at 5:37 she almost loses her place!).

Other awesome stuff is called pi (or pie)

 

The Raspberry Pi Zero

I don’t like pie crust, but I can’t bring myself to even utter the words “I don’t like pie” out loud in the company of others. I’m pretty sure it is blasphemy in most areas. Besides, what is inside more than makes up for the shell. Moving from edible pie, to technology, we can’t forget the Raspberry Pi! This mighty little computer has swept our community up in its arms and been probably more ubiquitous with any maker gathering than apple pie!


The Contest

Ok, enough blathering about how amazing Pi is, on with the contest! This year, we want you to get creative. Make something that relates to Pi and submit it to our contest page by 11:59 PM on March 14.

You could knit a sweater, paint a picture, solder a circuit, design a program, or compose a symphony, it just has to relate to Pi! Be sure to explain how your project relates to pi, as you can imagine, we’ll be looking for the most creative connection. Our editors will look over your submissions and choose a winner by March 21.

Guidelines:

  • Must be an original design (designs that are taken from another maker or from third party intellectual property such as Star Wars will be disqualified)
  • No offensive materials
  • Bonus points for the inclusion of actual pie and/or Raspberry Pi computer.

The Prizes

Our selected winner is going to receive the following awesome prizes:

  • A free subscription to Make Magazine
  • $100 credit to the Maker Shed
  • The new Raspberry Pi Zero W! We received one to check out for the big announcement, and we’re going to give it away!