Mr Smith directs the PiDay wave

Kilmarnock FC host PiDay celebrations

Grange Academy’s annual PiDay celebrations expanded considerably this year when young people from the school were joined at Rugby Park by Park School, Annanhill Primary and Gargieston Primary for a Pi related Mexican Wave.

Mr Smith, MBE, the school’s resident Maths geek and PiDay enthusiast, organised a Mexican Wave in the Moffat Stand, representing the first few digits of Pi.

Mr Smith, who is a Kilmarnock FC season ticket holder explained: "As I munched on a Kilmarnock Pie at half time during a match, I had an ePIphany moment - why don't we use Rugby Park, the home of the award-winning Kilmarnock Pie for PiDay...after all, Kilmarnock are a real community club who are keen to link football and education?! It seemed like a dream that might be out of reach but before long we'd got the green light from the football club and it was time to rope in the rest of the PiDay team that would give this event a real buzz.

"The weather on the day certainly wasn’t playing ball. The rain was lashing down but that didn't stop us. I hollered through my megaphone to direct everyone into formation so that we had 3 fans next to 1 fan next to 4 fans next to 1 fan...When the geeky Mexican Wave rippled across the stand it was providing a sort of human bar chart of the digits of pi as they appear in everyone's favourite irrational number!"

The second part of the PiDay plans – laying out hundreds of Kilmarnock pie boxes around the centre circle and comparing the number of boxes that would be needed across it – had to be postponed due to the weather. Almost 900 boxes are now at Grange Campus and are ready for use on the astroturf once the weather is a bit better.

The children and young people moved inside and enjoyed trying out the club’s brand new target practice and circular training machines, with sessions organised by Kilmarnock’s community team, supported by Mr Adams and the school’s Young Sports Leaders. There was also a PiDay sing-song with Mr Smith.

Local elected members Councillor Iain Linton and Councillor Douglas Reid joined in the fun and were the sixth fan of the Mexican Wave. Councillor Reid, Leader of the Council said: "PiDay is an important day for Mathematicians around the world and Mr Smith’s celebrations are legendary in East Ayrshire. It was unbelievably cold in the stand but everyone had loads of fun doing the Mexican Wave. Unfortunately Cllr Linton and I missed Browning’s special Em-pi-re biscuits, but we heard they were delicious.

"Well done Mr Smith and the whole team behind PiDay."

PiDay was supported by the Ayrshire Film Company who have been working with young people in our schools who have an interest in videography; Kilmarnock Community Team, Captain Conker, Brownings the Bakers and goodie bags were provided by TES.

The Maths doesn't end there. The Kilmarnock Community team already deliver Science workshops to pupils inspired by the current Killie away strip that features the DNA of penicillin. But PiDay is going to be the springboard to an exciting collaboration where Mr Smith will help the club develop a Mathsy workshop, which will end up being rolled out over East Ayrshire by the Community team.

You can watch some highlights from the day online