Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Day in the library 2013

All sorts of students are celebrating Pi Day (3.14) all around the world today. The day also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday.
In our BC math curriculum, grade seven students start using the irrational number "pi" to help them calculate the circumference and area of a circle. Many students are aware of pi though and it is a significant number in mathland. There are an infinite number of decimal digits in this number, with no pattern that has been found. All sorts of computer programs have been created to analyze the digits as well as record millions of digits. There are also world record contests for those individuals who have an aptitude for memorizing. The current world record holder has memorized almost 100 000 digits of Pi and it took him two days to recite them (yes, you read that correctly!).

Students began preparing for Pi Day by searching for digits of Pi on the iPads.


Students from divisions 1 and 2 used "pi plates" to create a Pi banner for the library.

Today there were chocolate Pi cupcakes, mini cherry Pi, Pi pencils and a Cherry Pi puzzle for the 80 students who dropped into the library at lunch for Pi Day.
As the students swarmed into the library, we watched and sang along to a catchy Pi song on YouTube and then the students worked in groups to measure the diameter of circular objects from around the school and then investigate the relationship between the diameter and the circumference of the object.

We had our digit memorization contest again this year and Victor and Alyssa were our primary champions and Tina, Linda and Jacky were our intermediate champions. Alyssa and Tina were our grand Pi champions with both girls memorizing about 160 digits of Pi!

And here is a short podcast of our two grand champions reciting several digits of pi:

updated April 4, 2013: Our champions and runners-up were presented with a math award ribbon, Pi pin and a box of Smarties for being such smart students! Our grand champions also received a copy of the story, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi.

~Ms Novakowski

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