Pi Day is right around the corner (March 14th) and there’s tons of fun ways to celebrate this day in the classroom or at home! We’ve gathered a few of our favorite Pi Day activities for you to try with your students to help explain the significance of this totally awesome holiday. Please let us know if you try any of these in the comments below!
First, let’s start out with a brief history of Pi Day and why we celebrate it. The value of pi was first calculated by Archimedes of Syracuse, an ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter which is always slightly more than three times as long. Archimedes was able to prove this calculation by approximating the area of a circle using the Pythagorean Theorem showing that pi is between 3 1/7 and 3 10/71. Fast forward to 2015 and computer scientists have been able to represent over 13.3 trillion digits of pi (and that’s not even all of them!) Pi is classified as an irrational number meaning that the number after the decimal never ends and never settles into a repeating pattern such as 0.5555 which is 5/9 or 0.121212 which is 12/99. The formula for pi is found in many different areas of study such as geometry, statistics and trigonometry so it’s possible that everyone at some point in their life has been exposed to it. Let’s get your students excited about Pi Day with some of these educational and fun activities!
If your child or student seems to be skeptical that pi is the same answer every time, start with this activity that proves it! We found this activity over at PBS that outlines a simple yet effective way to demonstrate pi. Get the full instructions here!
Spark some friendly competition among your students with this free pi day challenge we found over at Teachers Pay Teachers. Have your students measure the circumference and diameter of different sized circles and see how close to pi they can get! For all of the details make sure you go here.
We gathered a few fun Pi Day videos for you to enjoy with your students. Learn more about the history of pi and some yummy ways to celebrate this day here!
We hope you enjoy these Pi Day-inspired activities, please let us know other ways you plan to celebrate this day!