Despite the snow and wind, 364 (π × 10 + 50) runners and walkers participated in the Illinois Science Council’s fifth annual Pi Day Fun Run on 3-14-17. The run, which raised money for ISC programs, was held at Fleet Feet Store locations in Oak Park and Chicago’s Old Town and Lincoln Square neighborhoods. About 5 inches of snow fell in Cook County that day, which meant that the runners who came are the most hardy, math-loving folks out there.

Pie at the Illinois Science Council Pi K Run at Fleet Feet

While the run itself was not competitive, the Pi Day quiz was! Participants were asked to answer 20 quiz questions before setting out on a 3.14-mile course (get it, 3.14?). The quiz wasn’t too difficult – a sample question: What is Americans’ favorite pie flavor?

After the run, participants were invited to eat Connie’s Pizza, drink Lagunitas beer and Bai fruit juices, and, of course, have a bite of pie. Prizes were awarded to winners of the quiz contest at the end of the night. (That’s right, our races aren’t about physical agility, they are about smarts!)

Runners at the Illinois Science Council Pi K Run at Fleet Feet
Natasha Wadlington, an Oak Park resident and longtime ISC volunteer, headed up the Oak Park location’s run. She said she loved seeing her community come together to celebrate STEM (science, technology, engineering & math).

“Despite the cold weather, we had a great turn-out, and people were highly enthusiastic for the run and the quiz,” says Wadlington. “The staff at Fleet Feet Oak Park was perfect, helping with the set-up and organization at the store. It was one of the best Pi Day Fun Run events I’ve been too.”

The annual run is one of the Illinois Science Councils biggest fundraising events. The proceeds from this year’s run will be used to support other ISC events, such as the Chicago Science Festival, which will be held May 18-20. The Science Fest will celebrate Chicago’s rich STEM culture with fellow scientists as well as anyone who is sci-curious.  The event will be open to the public and host several presenters and lecturers from universities, business, museums, and nonprofits from all over Illinois. We hope to see you all there!

Runners at the Illinois Science Council Pi K Run at Fleet Feet

Jennifer Flynn is a freelance science writer. You can follow her on Twitter @FlyWrite1.


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Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

On April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America, from Mexico to the Maine-Canadian border. For those who experienced the spectacular solar eclipse of 2017, this one will be similar, crossing the United States from west to east and passing through or near several major metropolitan areas. And while its path is quite different this time, Carbondale, Illinois, a reasonable destination for Chicago-area residents, will once again be on the line of totality.    

Just a little background on eclipses:  Lunar and solar eclipses are not uncommon – they each occur about twice a year when the moon is crossing the ecliptic, the path of the sun in the sky.

Two women representing the Illinois Science Council at an event.

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