Hey folks! This Sunday, March 14, 2021, is Pi Day, and it’s time for some celebration!
Pi Day celebrates the mathematical constant (symbolized by the Greek letter π) that stands for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The value of pi is often said to be 3.14159… Why the dots? Well, pi has been calculated to over 3 trillion digits, and we just don’t have time or space to offer up that many numbers for you here!
Why is pi so important? Pi is involved in most of the calculations related to circles, including the surface area, volume, angles, etc. When you really start to think about it, this includes many shapes: circles, spheres, cones, cylinders, etc. Without understanding pi, we would truly be at a loss!
So, how to celebrate Pi Day? So many ways! Here are few ideas:
1) Circle Scavenger Hunt – Walk around your inside space and outdoors and look for all the circles and shapes containing circles (like cylinders, cones, spheres, etc.) that you can find. Make a list! Who can come up with the most?
2) Pi Paper Chain – Assign a unique color to each number from 0-9. Cut many strips of construction paper in each color and build a paper chain in the order of the numbers in pi. (Check here for a million digits of pi!) How far can you go? My daughter is pictured here with her pi chain from several years ago. (This idea comes from my daughter’s amazing 6th grade science & math teacher at the Cottonwood School of Civics & Science, Lisa Colombo, an ardent fan of pi!)
3) Eat Pie – Yes, I said it, but who doesn’t need an excuse for more pie? While you are eating pie, be sure to talk about pi!
4) More Pi Day Ideas – Need more ideas about celebrating Pi Day 2021? How can you go wrong with ideas from the venerable Exploratorium in San Francisco?!