Happy Pi Day!!!
It’s Pi Day, and time to celebrate… CIRCLES! That’s right, Pi Day (not Pie Day), is celebrated each year on March 14th (3/14) at 1:59:26PM. Today we are celebrating with a Pi Day Link Party (lots of links throughout and below for your enjoyment). It would also be fantastic if you and your kids, friends, coworkers, or neighbors can celebrate the “pi minute” by jumping up and down, doing a pi dance, or hip-hip-hooraying for pi today at 1:59PM. Visit our Pi Day Board on Pinterest for some Pi Day fun!
Pi (as in the Greek Letter π) has a value of 3.1415926535897932384… and it goes on, well, forever it seems. Without repeating! It is categorized as an irrational number, and it is calculated as the ratio of a circumference to its diameter or its area to the square of its radius.
Where did it originate? Pi represents the number of times a circle’s diameter can wrap around its circumference (perimeter or distance around a circle). It is a very long decimal but used in most cases as 3.14 (a close approximate value).
How is this going to help you as a parent? Your kids will someday come home and need some homework help and ask you to help them understand pi, if they haven’t already. This might happen around age 11 or 12 for the first time, when they are sixth graders. In the meantime Pi Day is an opportunity to make learning FUN and INTERACTIVE! Draw some circles and wrap them with gluey string! Cut out colored tissue paper and create a circular mosaic! Make some homemade dough and sculpt out some spheres, pies, or donuts! Whatever your choice activity, absolutely find a way to make it relate to circles in a way your kids understand.
I’m not an expert but six years of teaching math preceded by four years of undergrad at MIT and at least 13 years before that of being a bit of a math nerd in school has fostered quite a love and appreciation for numbers, rational and irrational. The great thing about PI DAY is that it ALWAYS brought out the geeky fun in math class. My sixth graders were skeptical for all of about one minute before they were singing right along to “Pi, Pi, Mathematical Pi” at the top of their lungs. They even came up with their own lyrics to songs or raps created by them about circles. The songs were just as popular with eighth graders and high school seniors in AP Calculus class. Should I mention the time my fellow teachers all got on board and danced along to the “Jenny” remake of 3.14159 (instead of 867-5309) for the school talent show teacher act? Is it relevant that hula-hoops graced the stage on that wonderful number about circles? Absolutely! Everybody can relate to circles and popular old tunes with new, numerical lyrics.
The beauty of Pi Day is having an opportunity to celebrate math in a way that is fun and exciting for all. Involve the kids, talk about circles, do some math, or bake a pie.
Oh, and did you know? If you look at Pi backwards, it spells PiE! 3.14 … PIE
How About a Laugh?
Did you know that 3.14% of all sailors are Pi rates?
Q:What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Pi in the sky.
Whatever you do, don’t talk to Pi. He goes on forever!
Songs About Pi
Pi Song (Jenny remake)
How will you celebrate Pi Day?