It’s National Pi Day 3/14 and I have been celebrating SolidWorks all weekend!

National Pi Day! Who would have thought that this little greek letter could have so much power!

I started my celebration early, this weekend I say "Apple Pi" the mascot for the FRC Robotics Team 2067 at the WPI FIRST Regional.  In a bright red apple costume with the large symbol "Pi" on his front, the mascot cheered  for the crowd and his teammates – all supporting "Pi" tshirts.

Congratulations to Thomas (TJ) Watson from FRC Team 177 “Bobcats” from South Winsor CT for winning the SolidWorks-WPI scholarship and    Mike Strickland from FRC team 1100, The T-Hawks, from Algonquin Regional HS in Northborough MA for winning the alumni scholarship. 

I was so impressed with Trinity High School, FRC  Team 40's robot – completely designed in SolidWorks – their use of pi (circles everywhere to reduce weight) in Aluminum was amazing.

Also too congratulations to Assabet Valley Regional Vocational High School for putting on a great "Rally in the Valley" 15 pound battling robot competition.   It's great when students can design, machine, build and compete with these robots and manage to run the event.

Anytime there was a circle displayed at these events in a ring, on a part,  - and there are many circles this weekend – I thought of "pi"

"Pi" has given many students trouble over the years when I used to teach Calculus and Physics.  That little pi caused many problems.  Years ago I put two lessons together to help explain the unit circle.  The unit circle makes pi your best friend.  I thank my high school Physics teacher for making pi standout for me. 


Lesson Plan: Unit Circle and Triangle

Lesson Plan: Radius, Diameter and Area


 Happy Pi Day! Marie


Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard