Pi Day surprises
If you’re into math, and who isn’t, you probably know a thing or two about pi. For instance, National Pi Day is always March 14. Look at it this way: March 14 is also written 3/14. Pi, the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter, is just about 3.14….15…9265359… (and so on) Get it? 3/14 and 3.14.
That’s just where the fun begins. March 14 was also scientist Albert Einstein’s birthday. With the combination of Einstein’s birthday, the 3/14 and the first three digits of Pi (3.14) you have the makings of a math celebration. So, let’s go celebrate pi!
Pi fun facts
Here are some things that you may not know about pi.
- Pi, or π, never changes. It’s the ratio of the distance around any circle to the circle's diameter and is always 3.14… .
- A mathematician named Lambert also showed in 1761 that the number pi was irrational; that is, it cannot be written as a fraction by normal standards.
- We’ll never be able to find all the digits of pi because it’s defined as an irrational number.
- The record for the most digits of pi memorized belongs to Rajveer Meena of Vellore, India, who recited 70,000 decimal places of pi on March 21, 2015, according to Guinness World Records.
- Physicist Larry Shaw started celebrating March 14 as Pi (3.14) day at San Francisco’s Exploratorium science museum in 1988. He and his coworkers walked in circles and ate fruit pies starting at 1:59 p.m. There he is known as the Prince of Pi. (We’ll get to pie baking later.)
- The most common number in the first 100,000 decimal places of pi is number one, which occurs 10,137 times.
- Mathematician and computer scientist Fabrice Bellard calculated 2.7 trillion decimal places of pi using just a typical desktop computer in 2010.
Did you hear the one about… ? Yes, pi has its own jokes and puns, another fun way to learn about pi.
- Why should you never talk to pi? Because she’ll just go on forever.
- What do you get when you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? A pumpkin pi
- What’s the most mathematical snake? A pi-thon
- What do you get when you divide the circumference of the moon by its diameter? Pi in the sky
- Why should you never argue with pi? He’s completely irrational
- A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer are all given identical rubber balls and told to find the volume. They are given anything they want to measure it and have all the time they need. The mathematician pulls out a measuring tape and records the circumference. He then divides by two times pi to get the radius, cubes that, multiplies by pi again and then multiplies by 4/3 and calculates the volume. The physicist gets a bucket of water, places 1.00000 gallons of water in the bucket, drops in the ball, and measures the displacement to six significant figures. The engineer? He writes down the serial number of the ball and looks it up.
Pi: eat or calculate – or both
Do you know how many ways you can calculate your pi and eat it, too?
- What does pi have in common with pie? Watch this video to see the connection.
- Here’s one way to have your pi and eat it, too. Easy chicken pot pie.
- Another easy dessert pie recipe. Celebrate pi with breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Little hand-sized pizza pies are quick and delish. Enjoy edible pi every March 14.
- What other circular foods can you turn into pi? Make a list.
However you end up celebrating Pi Day, it’s a great day to remember the importance of math and how it’s all around us. One of the best ways to celebrate Pi Day is playing on DreamBox. For other fun math activities and holidays, be sure to download our March activity calendar so you can celebrate a little bit of math every day. Happy learning.