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Pi Day, March 14, Is Party Time for Math Fans!
Math lovers, teachers, and families around the world are gearing up to celebrate Pi Day on March 14, or more precisely, the second pi, 3/14 (the US date format) at 1:59:26 p.m.
Pi or À, approximately equal to 3.1415926, is one of the most important mathematical constants. It represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The Greek letter À, often spelled as pi, was adopted as the number symbol from the Greek word for perimeter.
If there was only one day that screamed math party, it would be March 14th. Coincidentally, March 14 is also the birthday of Albert Einstein, which offers math enthusiasts the opportunity to discuss famous discoveries proven by mathematics.
Pi Day is not only a day to celebrate mathematics, it also recognizes historic advancements in our universal language of mathematics. Pi dates back over 4,000 years, when it was used by the Babylonians and Egyptians. In the third and fourth centuries BC, great thinkers such as Archimedes, Ptolemy and Euclid came up with their own estimates and proofs. Today, supercomputers are able to estimate pi with an accuracy of over a trillion digits.
Besides March 14, there are other days to celebrate pi. Pi’s approximation day can be observed on several dates, but the most popular is July 22 (22/7 using the European date format – just divide 22 by 7 to estimate pi). Another favorite day to observe pi is November 10 (the 314th day of the year), or November 9 in a leap year. You could also celebrate Pi in December on the 355th day of the year at 1:13 p.m., for the Chinese approximation 355/113 (divide 355 by 113 to arrive at an estimate of pi).
The first recognized celebration of Pi Day was held on March 14, 1988 at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, where staff and audience walked in a circle and ate fruit pies. Today, many organizations, countless websites, and thousands of classrooms hold celebrations. Pi enthusiasts in the mathematical community take pride in memorizing pi and coming up with higher estimates of its digits.
Here are 10 helpful ideas to make Pi Day a special celebration for your students or family.
1. Write and sing a song or poem about pi.
2. Watch, listen or read other songs, poems or videos on pi.
3. Do math activities to estimate pi.
4. Make a pi necklace.
5. Stand in a circle and sing pi!
6. Play pi on the piano.
7. Find out who holds the current record for most digits memorized and practice memorizing the digits of pi yourself.
8. Convert things to pi (i.e. how old are you in pi?)
9. Throw a Pi Day party with pi-pineapple pizza, pie and juice, and don’t forget a piñanta.
10. End the day with a walk, run or hike (3.14 km or miles) to burn off all the pi-e!
Let’s make March 14 an unforgettable Pi day!
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