Pi Day, March 14, Is Party Time for Math Fans!

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Math lovers, teachers and families around the world are gearing up to celebrate Pi Day on March 14, or more precisely to the pi second, 3/14 (the American date format) at 1:59:26 p.m. Pi or π, approximately equal to 3.1415926, is one of the most important mathematical constants. "If there was just one day that screams math party, March 14 would have to be it," says Susan Jarema, founder of Googol Learning who always looks for ways to make math more exciting for children. She offers 10 helpful ideas to make Pi Day a special celebration for your students or family.

Math lovers, teachers and families around the world are gearing up to celebrate Pi Day on March 14, or more precisely to the pi second, 3/14 (the American date format) at 1:59:26 p.m.

Pi or π, approximately equal to 3.1415926, is one of the most important mathematical constants. It represents the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. The Greek letter π, often spelled out as pi, was adopted as a symbol for the number from the Greek word for perimeter, "περίμετρος."

"If there was just one day that screams math party, March 14 would have to be it," says Susan Jarema, founder of Googol Learning who always looks for ways to make math more exciting for children. Coincidently, March 14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday, which offers math lovers the chance to discuss famous discoveries that have been proved through mathematics.

"To me Pi Day is not only a day to celebrate math, it also recognizes the historical progress of our universal language of mathematics," comments Jarema. Pi dates back more than 4,000 years, when it was used by the Babylonians and Egyptians. In the third and fourth centuries B.C., great thinkers such as Archimedes, Ptolemy and Euclid came up with their own estimates and proofs. Today, supercomputers are able to estimate pi with precision to over a trillion digits.

Besides March 14, there are other days to celebrate pi. Pi Approximation Day may be observed on several dates, but the most popular is July 22 (22/7 using the European date format--just divide 22 by 7 to estimate pi). Another favourite day to observe pi is November 10 (the 314th day of the year), or November 9 in a leap year. You could also celebrate Pi in December on the 355th day of the year at 1:13 p.m., for the Chinese approximation 355/113 (divide 355 by 113 to arrive at an estimate of pi).

The first recognized Pi Day celebration was held March 14, 1988, at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where the staff and public marched around in a circle and ate fruit pies. Now, many organizations, countless websites and thousands of classrooms host celebrations. Pi enthusiasts in the math community take pride in memorizing pi and coming up with higher estimates of its digits.

Jarema created the award-winning musical Googol Power Math Series to make learning math fun for children. Since then, she has built a free-content website that shares ways to make math exciting. She offers 10 helpful ideas to make Pi Day a special celebration for your students or family.

1.    Write and sing a song or poem about pi.

2.    Watch, listen or read other songs, poems or videos about pi.

3.    Do math activities to estimate pi.

4.    Make a pi necklace.

5.    Stand in a circle and chant pi!

6.    Play pi on the pi-ano.

7.    Find out who holds the current record for most digits memorized and practice memorizing the digits of pi yourself.

8.    Convert things into pi (i.e., what is your pi age?)

9.    Have a Pi Day party with pi-zza, pi-e and pi-neapple juice, and don't forget a pi- ñanta.

10.    End the day with a pi walk, run or hike (3.14 km or miles) to burn off all the pi-e!

Visit Googol Learning's website at http://www.googolpower.com to check out its Pi Day resource section and for many more free resources to help increase your child's interest in math.

Let's make March 14 a Pi Day to remember!

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SUSAN JAREMA
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