March 14 is Pi Day, the annual celebration of a never-ending number—as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday! Pi Day, is an annual date of celebration in the mathematical community because March 14, or 3/14, using the US convention for dates, looks like 3.14, which is pi to two decimal places!
History of Pi
Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant. It is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. Mathematicians all over the world have been puzzling over Pi for thousands of years! Archimedes in the 2nd century B.C. got it accurately to three decimal places. The German-Dutch mathematician Ludolph van Ceulen, who spent a lifetime calculating pi, succeeded in getting it to a colossal 35 decimals. This is even engraved on his tombstone! A Brief History of Pi explains the history of this fascinating number.
Million Digits of Pi
Today Pi has been calculated to 10 trillion decimal places. It is an irrational and transcendental number and will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize and to calculate more and more digits. We all know that Pi goes on forever and even the most powerful supercomputers will never know all of Pi’s digits. But people have still been trying to figure out the digits of the Pi, up to the largest they can. Look up this to know the first million digits of Pi!
You can remember the value of Pi (3.1415926) by counting each word’s letters in “May I have a large container of coffee”
- So how do you celebrate Pi Day? Do something fun, quirky, and math-related! Pi gives ample opportunity for creative math fun. These Fun Facts about Pi and Pi Day would be fun to share with your children!
- This amazing video shows how we can play Pi as a musical sequence by combining audio and mathematics! Or check this act of unrolling a circle’s circumference to illustrate the ratio π.
- You can also teach kids how to make a circle from three points on a plane and have fun manipulating nested circles with this interactive tool that shows children how awesome circles are! Or teach them about measurements, fractions, circumference and diameter in the kitchen while making a pizza! Do the Cutting Pi, hands-on activity in which students learn about measurement and pi!
- Explore this Pi Day toolkit that has resources like eCards, Quiz Questions & Fun Facts about Pi or indulge in these fun activities with your children.
- You can solve these Pi Day Puzzles or get a printable Pi Puzzle for kids!
- You can find more ideas for Pi Day activities, learning and entertainment or read up a few Pi Day Books for Kids.
- Search Pi for your favorite number sequence using the Pi Search tool and see if your number combination exists in Pi!
Happy Pi Day! Happy Birthday Albert Einstein!
Today also happens to be the birthday of Albert Einstein, one of science’s greatest minds of all time! This Happy birthday song pays him a deserving tribute! Teach your children about Pi- the magical ratio and engage them in the study of Mathematics.