Hero photograph
Julia and Chloe put their heads down in the heated competition atmosphere.
Photo by Oscar McLean

Maths competition easy as pie

Nayland College Official with student reporter Oscar McLean —

The annual Pi Competition took place on Wednesday the 21st of August in the school hall.

The purpose of the competition is to challenge students to use their mental muscles and correctly write down as many decimal places of Pi as they can.  This year saw a good turnout of students ready to put their memorisation skills into action. 

The competition's history at Nayland goes back a fair way. According to maths teacher Rachael Purdie, it started around 12 years ago with a group of students who used to hang out in one of the maths classrooms with herself and Mr Marshall.  

"They'd do puzzles and things for fun in their lunchtimes. Then they started trying to memorise digits of Pi, just for fun," she said.  "So, we had our first Pi competition in Rm 12 where they hung out and it became so popular with other students that we ran it in the hall after that." 

This year's place winners were:


1st equal: Chloe and Julia Hamilton from House Pegasus with a whopping 420 digits

2nd: Elise Reid from House Phoenix

3rd: Caitlin Westrupp from House Phoenix


1st: Alex Pirie from House Phoenix with 199 digits

2nd: Gabby Walton from House Pegasus

3rd: Ella Riciardi from House Pegasus

The first staff member was Mr Ikink on 46 digits, followed by Mr Cubanski (27), and Mr Crawford and Mrs Bloomfield tied on 20.

Circuit student reporter Oscar McLean was on hand to cover the action unfolding in the hall and spoke to a few of the participants.

OM: How did you prepare?

Sam - Draco, year 9: "Well, I've known Pi for a little while and I had this little jingle in my head. It's like a song and that kind of helped and then I started remembering some new ones recently. I did that using patterns and stuff that I associate with those numbers." 

Ruben - Pegasus, year 9: "I memorized it by reading it out from a sheet of paper that I got from another person."

Chloe - Pegasus, year 12: "Just last night I got an app called Pimorize and just went on it."

Julia - Pegasus, year 12: "Um, took one week and read over all the digits that I wanted to learn."

OM: What would your advice be for someone who wanted to do this next year?

Sam: "Prepare lots and try and find a really efficient way to do it that takes less time because you need a lot of numbers to get more points."

Ruben: "I'd say just practice it in form time with some friends, get a lot of people around and just say it a few times over. "

Chloe: "Put more effort into it, more time I mean. I only had one night, and it was hard."

Julia: "Just keep reading it each night."