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Excel Math Blog

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Celebrate Pi Day in the Math Class!

On March 14 (3.1415926...) we celebrate National Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day

Pi Day is a holiday celebrating the mathematical constant, π.

Educators and mathematicians recognize the never-ending number π with classroom celebrations, special events, food, song and rhyme. 

For 2015 the date on which Pi Day falls includes the first 5 digits of Pi—3/14/15. If you hold your celebration at 9:26, you will have covered the first eight numerals: 3.1415926.


This year marks the twenty-seventh annual Pi Day. 

On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution recognizing March 14, 2009, as National Pi Day

Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Pi is always the same number, no matter what size circle you use to compute it.

guitar music

Pi Toss

You might want to plan a Pi Day celebration for your students to help them remember this special number.

Students could write their own songs and poems, see how much of the number Pi they can recall, draw pictures of what comes to mind when they hear the word infinity, solve a Pi-related brainteaser, and enjoy some Pi-related snacks.

You could even hold a school-wide Pi-athalon at 9:26 where you have students ride tricycles, eat pie, recite the digits that make up pi, solve pi-related brainteasers, etc.

As a fundraiser, students could buy Pis (whipped topping on a paper plate) to throw at volunteer teachers and staff or at a bullseye target.

You could hold a Pi-eating contest where the contestants must compete to finish a pie (or tart) topped with whipped topping without using their hands.

If you bring a pie for your students, add a Pi stencil on top.

First make a paper template of the Pi symbol.

Cut out the symbol Pi shape and place the cut stencil on top of your pie.

Sprinkle with cinnamon or powdered sugar, remove the stencil, and take a class picture before serving your Pi pie.

(See the bottom pie in the photo at right.)

You may want to have a contest to see who can recite or sing or rap the most digits of Pi correctly.

The winners are served their piece of the Pi first.

For a fun Pi craft, students can make "pi-mobiles" by coloring the symbol for pi or drawing it on dessert-size paper plates.

Punch a hole in the top of each symbol, and connect larger and smaller ones with string or drinking straws to hang from the ceiling or from a dowel rod.

Pi pies
Use a paper stencil to create a Pi on your pie!

pie chart

pie graph

You could also have your students create some Pie charts, guess the weight of a PI-napple before cutting it up and eating it, review the PI-thagorean theorem, and calculate the circumference and radius of various circular objects.

For more Pi-day activities and a Pi Day bulletin board pattern, see our previous Pi Day posts:

Pi Day Bulletin Board and Ideas for the Math Class

Pi Day in the Math Classroom

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