Share It! Science and Growing with Science are thrilled to announce we are teaming up for a week long Children’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Festival all next week. Please join us for information and project ideas to help you explore STEAM-related activities for the summer and beyond!
Our STEAM activity schedule is as follows:
June 22: Science
June 23: Technology
June 24: Engineering
June 25: Art with a STEM focus
June 26: Math
We would love to hear your questions or suggestions for STEAM-related projects to share with others. If you choose to, please leave your ideas in the comments and we’ll add the links to the appropriate days.
Pi Day has been celebrated each year on March 14 (3/14) as a fun salute to pi = 3.14… This year, Pi Day will have special significance because 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 a.m. and p.m. will represent the first 10 digits of pi. Plus, March 14 happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday. Cool!
What is Pi?
Pi is is the ratio between the circumference (distance around a circle), and the diameter (the distance across the circle). It written as p in Greek alphabet, which is the symbol π. Pi is an infinite decimal with a value 3.14159265358979323846…
Want more details? SciShow has an explanation of pi useful for older students.
Activities for Pi Day:
It has become somewhat of a tradition to bake a pie to share for Pi Day with a π symbol on it. Another option would be to make π pancakes. Simply make a π shape out of pancake batter and let it brown, then add more pancake batter over the top to fill in the pancake. Or you can use a dark pancake batter, such buckwheat, to create the π symbol and a lighter batter for the background.
2. Toothpick Toss
One way to calculate pi involves comparing the circumference of a circle to the diameter. Another way is to count how many toothpicks (or other similar objects) fall in a certain way when thrown at a series of parallel lines.
Toothpicks (matchsticks also work) – at least 100
Cardboard or poster board surface to draw lines on
Marker (such as Sharpie)
Draw several parallel lines on the cardboard or poster board with the distance between each line exactly equal to the twice the length of a toothpick. Randomly toss toothpicks onto the lined surface, keeping track of the total number of toothpicks tossed. When you are done, count each toothpick that has landed crossing a line in any way.
Divide the total number of toothpicks tossed by the number of toothpicks that crossed the lines. See how close to pi your estimate is.
Meet the regulars in King Arthur’s court, such as Sir Cumference, his wife Lady Di of Ameter, their son Radius, and the carpenter, Geo of Metry. When Sir Cumference turns into a dragon, can his family and friends use math to save him? Although it looks a bit like a picture book, the concepts are actually for middle grades.
Want more? There’s a plethora of links to all things pi at Joy of Pi.
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