Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Sci-ku for maths and statistics

Students and adults around Australia are being challenged to unleash their inner poet with a science haiku (sci-ku) on the topics of Maths or Statistics.

The annual RiAus Sci-ku competition, now in its fourth year, is encouraging people to discover the wonders of science through poetry. This year’s Sci-ku theme celebrates the International Years of Statistics and the Mathematics of Planet Earth. A sci-ku is a short, three-line poem about the sciences, inspired by the Japanese haiku. A haiku is a poem of 17 syllables – written in a 5-7-5 syllable format – although this restriction doesn’t apply to a sci-ku.

‘This is a really easy and fun way for people to get involved in National Science Week and the Great Big Science Read’, said RiAus Director, Dr Paul Willis. ‘Last year we got hundreds of entries, and this year I even had a go at writing my own!’

When a bell curve shows
A Normal Distribution
Peace around the mean
… Paul Willis

There are three categories of competition entry: for Schools - Primary and Secondary; and Open (no age limit). Entries (submitted online) must be received by Sunday 18 August 2013.

Australia’s Numeracy Ambassador, and all round funny man, Simon Pampena, also contributed a sci-ku for RiAus. Simon hopes that the competition will get people talking about maths and science, especially Pi, during National Science Week (10- 18 August):

This nerdy haiku
Also counts out Pi
…Simon Pampena

Note: This sci-ku is also a ‘Pi-ku’! Simon not only chose to stick to a 5-7-5 syllable count, but also incorporated a 3-1-4 word count. He sure does love Pi (the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, or approximately 3.14)!

The winners of each category will have their sci-ku poem ‘up in lights’ on the ribbon artwork on the exterior of The Science Exchange: the home of RiAus in Adelaide. Prizes include Kindle
e-readers and book vouchers.

For full details including the entry form, rules and prizes visit:

RiAus sci-ku is a Great Big Science Read event and is part of National Science Week 2013.