Students at Cedar Creek High School in Egg Harbor City spent Thursday going around in circles.

The annual Pi Day games, celebrated March 14 to coincide with the 3.14 mathematical ratio of pi, included timed hula hooping, trivia and calculation contests, and the popular pie-eating competition.

Pi Day celebrations were held in several area schools, during which math teachers held edible pie-measuring events that culminated in dessert. Cedar Creek turned it into a schoolwide competition.

“This is our day,” said teacher John Gazo, adviser to the math club, which sponsors the event.

Gazo said he knows many students don’t like math, but he wants them to understand that math is everywhere. On Thursday, the focus was on circles and the significance of pi as representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference divided by its diameter.

“You take a circle, go around it, then divide it by the distance through,” he said as students were timed using long foam tubes to identify the different parts of a circle. The curved entrance to the common area of the school provided the perfect outline.

Student Natalie Cruz, of Mays Landing, designed this year’s T-shirt, borrowing Cedar Creek’s pirate logo to create the “pi-rate.” John Biddle, of Hamilton Township, dressed up as “Pi Gi,” a superhero he and classmates Nadine Blank and Emilee Roesch created who is rotund from eating so much pie.

Students were asked to recite as many digits of pi as they could remember. Nozifa Arzu memorized 180.

There was even an art contest, in which classes could offer original representations of pi.

Math Club President Craig Dilliplane, of Egg Harbor City, who plans to study astrophysics, said he likes being able to represent math at the school in a way that gets the whole school involved.

The club also sold pie slices for $1 to raise money for club trips and competitions.

“Just to see kids smiling during math class is worth it,” Gazo said as a group of students played “pin the radius on the circle.”

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