Celebrating Pi Day

Here are some activities we compiled it for you that introduce & explore the beauty & universality of pi. Try this today, and celebrate World Pi Day.

1. Take any circlular of your choice. Draw 4 of them next to each other as shown. 


Irrespective of the size of the radius, the circumference of the circle when spreaad will always give you pi length.


(Image: Wikimedia Foundation)

2. Here is one from Arvind Gupta inspired from VSS Shastry.

(note: The approximate value of pi as 22/7 is nowadays gave way to a decimal representation of 3.14)


3. This clip (of 2:30min) from the celebrated BBC series The Story of Math where Prof Marcus Du Sautoy shares the method how Madhava, the mathematician from Kerala, India has calculated Pi in 15th century, two centuries before Leibniz. Simple & elegant.

4( 1/1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 - 1/11 + 1/13 - ...... ) = π


4. Now, try this one. The simplest & the most surprising too! This one is from Buffon. 

All you need is a pen, paper & some broomstick pieces to throw at.

[We used paper clips. You may use pen caps, match sticks (they must be straight & of equal length)]

Draw parallel lines on paper/floor that have a perpendicular gap of 2 paper clip length. 

Take large number of clips and just throw them on it. That's it!

Count the total number of clips 

Count the ones that touched the line. 

When you divide the total number of clips by the ones that touched the line, you will get closer & closer to pi!

The larger number of clips you throw, the closer you get to pi. You do it to believe it!

(You may skip the following video clip) The more complicated math part (strictly for grade 12 & above students) begins at the 3rd minute of this clip, courtesy Numberphile.


For those who wish to enjoy the eternal pi musically here is aSongScout's tribute piano.

In school textbooks & classroom discussions, pi is introduced as a mathematical constant that one needs to memorize for dealing anything circular. It can't be more insulting to the very cute pi.

Steven Strogatz in Newyorker beautifully puts it:

The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi.

And the Life of our dear Pi doesn't end here. You share your PI Day celebrations with us. Keep looking for this space.

The thumbnail is from 9gag.com


drsandeep's picture

very nice activities, any teacher can do these easily in classes

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