7 Ways to Celebrate Pi Day
It's Pi Day tomorrow (14th March), the annual celebration of the mathematical constant 'pi', represented by the lowercase Greek letter π. Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Regardless of the circle's size the ratio will always equal pi, approximately 3.14159 though its decimals are infinite.
In 1988, American physicist Larry Shaw decided that pi deserved its own holiday and started Pi Day. In the USA, they use the month/day date format, so he chose March 14th (3/14) to represent the first three digits of pi (3.14). In 2019, UNESCO designated Pi Day as the International Day of Mathematics.
Here are seven ideas for celebrating Pi Day:
- Recite digits of pi: Challenge yourself to see how many digits of pi you can memorise and recite. Or have a contest with friends, to see who can recite the most digits. As of March 2022, pi has been calculated to 100 trillion digits. While that many digits is too much for the human mind to handle, you can probably memorise a lot more than you think.
- Write a Pi-ku: A pi-ku is a poem that takes the form of a haiku, but instead of the usual 5-7-5 haiku pattern, the syllables in a Pi-ku per line follow the number of digits of Pi 3-1-4-1-5-9 (Pi to five decimal places is: 3.14159). Or for a simple three line Pi-ku, just follow the first three digits of Pi (3-1-4).
- Make pi-themed crafts: Use the pi symbol (π) or digits as inspiration for crafting projects, for example to create pi-themed jewellery - such as our Pi Day necklaces & bracelets!
- Bake a pie: Because pi is pronounced “pie” in English, baking pies is a popular way to celebrate Pi Day. You can make any kind of pie you like. Bonus points for decorating your pie with a pi symbol (π) on top!
- Have a pi race: Challenge your friends or classmates to see who can run 314 meters (after the first three digits of pi) the fastest.
- Go on a pi scavenger hunt: Since pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, you could go on a hunt for examples of perfect circles in your home, or outdoors in your neighbourhood. How many different circles can you find?
- Watch a maths movie: There are plenty of movies that feature maths or mathematicians, such as Hidden Figures (PG), The Imitation Game (12A), or A Beautiful Mind (12). Gather some friends and watch a maths movie on Pi Day.
Remember, Pi Day is all about having fun and celebrating the amazing world of maths! How will you celebrate Pi Day? Be sure to let us know, by tagging us on Facebook or Twitter and using the hashtag #MathsWeekScot.
You can learn more about using pi to measure circles, by watching Learn with Will. Join Will and Chris on their magical adventures as they bring stone circles to life and summon magical forest spirits, to help you learn about measuring circles.
Upcoming Events1st Jan-31st Dec
Ancient Egyptian Maths and Science
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre All day £45 (Free for Glasgow schools)
Schools workshop. Work in groups to solve problems faced by the Ancient Egyptian thousands of years ago, learn to measure and weigh just like they did, and handle objects they made.