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Happy Pi Day! Celebrating maths

Happy International Pi Day – and no I’m not spelling the word incorrectly as today is all about the mathematical symbol Pi. 

Now, you may be wondering why there is an edpsy blog about a mathematical symbol and why you should care about it. I hope, by the end of this article, I will have you excited about maths and inspired you to do something more.

Why celebrate Pi day? 

By celebrating Pi day, we are recognising maths and bringing it to the forefront of everyone’s minds.

When you think about maths, you are likely having one of three responses. 

  1. It may elicit a negative response, in the realms of “I can’t do it” or “I never use maths”. 
  2. It may elicit a strong stress response of having flashbacks to a test where your mind went blank or a teacher asked a question you didn’t know the answer to. 
  3. You might have a positive response of “yes I love maths”. 

Sadly, what experience has taught me is that more and more people feel negatively towards maths and there is a growing culture of it being socially acceptable to say you are bad at maths. So, why does this need to change? The simple answer comes from Andreas Schleicher, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), who reports that “good numeracy is the best protection against unemployment, low wages and poor health.“

A more complicated response is that maths is incredibly useful across all areas of life and shows us strengths within ourselves we didn’t think we had. I’m sure you will have experienced a time where you completed a calculation or equation and were proud of yourself for persevering and gaining the right answer. It’s like a mental workout that strengthens our problem-solving muscles and teaches us to think critically. Whether it’s figuring out how much to tip at a restaurant or calculating the best route to take on a road trip, maths helps us make sense of the world and find solutions to all sorts of challenges.

But it doesn’t stop there—mathematics is the secret sauce behind some of the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries and technological marvels of our time. From understanding the laws of nature to building complex computer algorithms, maths is the language that scientists and engineers use to unlock the mysteries of the universe and create amazing innovations that improve our lives.

Maths makes things possible

Take a moment to think about the technology you use every day—your smartphone, your computer, the internet—all of it is powered by maths. Algorithms and equations make it possible for search engines to find the information you need, for social media platforms to connect you with friends and family, and for online shopping sites to recommend products you might like.

And let’s not forget about the impact of maths on the economy. Financial markets, banking systems, and investment strategies all rely on mathematical models to make sense of complex data and predict future trends. Whether you’re managing your personal finances or making decisions that affect the global economy, maths is there to help you make informed choices and plan for the future.

But maths isn’t just about big ideas and high-tech gadgets—it’s also about the little things that make life easier and more enjoyable. From baking a batch of cookies to planning a budget-friendly holiday, maths helps us make decisions that save time, money, and energy. It’s the tool we use to measure ingredients, calculate costs, and find the best deals—all while having fun and enjoying life to the fullest.

Excited by maths yet? Today at Arise Educational Psychology, we are challenging everyone to post on social media at least one situation where they have used maths. It can be as simple as reading the time to get somewhere or as complicated as quantum physics. 

So, count yourself in and let’s get everyone talking about maths and remind them why this subject should not be feared. Please use the hashtags: #Countmein #Reallifemaths #Piday @ariseedpsych @edpsyuk.

You can also find a range of blogs about maths learning and teaching on the Arise EdPsych blog.

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