Fun projects to celebrate March 14th (aka Pi Day)
Pi Day: Celebrating the number that stole the world.
Quite possibly the most famous number around doesn’t even look like a number. Its name, yes, it has a name, is Pi.
Why is Pi so important?
Pi is what we call an irrational number. It goes on forever. Scientists have calculated it to billions of digits, but it still keeps on going. And there isn’t a pattern either. It isn’t like repeating decimals like 0.636363636363 that continues ad infinitum.
With Pi, it has every combination of any numbers ever possible. It is infinitely long and infinitely random. Contained in Pi is the image of every photograph ever taken along with every photograph that will ever be taken in the future. It contains the works of Shakespeare and the music of Beethoven. Within it is written a book of a history that has yet to happen. The pattern of your DNA is in Pi, and so is mine.
Everything is in Pi. That’s why Pi is so special.
Where can you find Pi?
Everywhere. Everything is in Pi, and Pi is everywhere. Pi got its start defining the circumference of a circle. That means Pi is in our Sun, in our helical DNA, in our coffee cups, and our car’s wheels. It’s in our eyes, and in our blood – literally.
It is everywhere in the natural world, and everywhere in our scientific world. Pi defines how well we can know the position and the speed of a passing object. It even determines how rivers choose their paths.
Pi Day Projects for Kids.
Are you looking for fun activities to make Pi day for kids fun? Here are a few ideas, scroll down to find explanations and free downloads for the Pi day activities.
- Find your name in Pi
- Color by number Pi chart
- Take a random Pi walk
- Create a Pi Wheel
- Bake a Pi(e)
Pi Day Projects for Kids.
1. Find your name in Pi
As we mentioned, Pi is an irrational infinitely long number. If we were to convert our names into numbers that string of numbers should show up somewhere in Pi. There are a lot of ways to convert letters to numbers, hwere we are going to split the alphabet up and assing the letters digits from 0-9, that meas the number 0 represents the letters A, K, and U. We can write our names with these digits and search for them in Pi. For example, my name is Dr. Erica. My name would convert to 3747820. If you want a quick and easy way to find your name in Pi you can just find, and color in, those digits on our downloadable Pi day project sheet.
If you want to find the actual string of numbers in Pi we will need more help. We will need an online program that can search Pi. Once you have converted your name into a string of digits, go here to find your name in Pi!
2. Color by number Pi chart
Download our table of the digits in Pi and color it by number. This is a stress relieving activity that helps kids learn numbers. In the end you will get to see a seemingly random assortment of colors as no pattern will emerge!
3. Take a random Pi walk
For this activity you will need our download and a dice. To determine the direction roll the dice. If you roll a 1 your walk will be up, 2 you walk right, 3 you walk down, and 4 you walk left. Re-roll the dice for 5 and 6 (or use a four sided dice). The number of steps you take on the walk with each direction will be determined by the digit in Pi.
Your first set of steps will be three, since Pi starts with 3. Continue this until you walk off the page or you run out of digits printed on the sheet.
4. Create a Pi wheel
In this Pi day for kids project you will connect the digits of Pi together, basically, it is a giant, never ending connect-the-dot. The simplest way to do this is just with a single color of pencil or pen. Going around the circle you will connect the digits of Pi. So start at 3 and go to 1, then 4, then 1, then 5 and so on. As you continue to map out the digits of Pi you will create a very cool web of Pi.
You can improve on the visualization of this web it you use specific colors for each digit. For example, you always draw lines that start on 3 with red, 4 with orange, 5 with yellow, and so on. In this way you will get a cool wed of Pi as well as a colorful, and interesting image to hang up.
If you want to take it one step further you can hammer nails around the circle, tie a thin rainbow string onto the nail marked 3 and begin to wrap it around the nail marked 1, then 4, then 1, then 5 and on and on. This would be a great gift for any math nerds in your family or friend group!
5. Bake a Pi(e)
Nom, nom, nom! It wouldn't be an official Pi day if you didn't also bake a pie right? This is a tasty treat for the end of a long and exciting math filled day!