Two 10-year-old boys figure out the meaning of pi, the never-ending number that starts with 3.14, and then celebrate with pie and pizza pie on National Pi Day, March 14 (3/14).
Pie, Pizza Pie, and Pi -- National Pi Day
MAURA SIMONS: So, Happy Pi Day.
NATALIE MORALES, reporting:
It’s Pi Day in Mrs. Simons’ fourth grade class. No, not that kind of pie, and not this kind of pie either.
SIMONS: We’re going to talk about the mathematical pi, which is this symbol, which is spelled P-I. And it represents 3.14.
KANAN: How about we just trace that first, okay, Zach?
MORALES: Zach and Kanan are on a mission to find the circumference of a circle.
ZACH: So it would be five with the remainder of 3.5. It’s weird.
KANAN: I know. Can we-- we can ask Ms. Simons for help?
ZACH: No, let’s just try to do this to ourselves.
MORALES: Ten-year-old Zach has always been an eager problem solver.
WOMAN: What number is that?
MORALES: In kindergarten, Zach showed an aptitude for math beyond his years. And his curiosity about science led to backyard experiments with his dad.
DEBORA (Zach’s Mother): He can take something that he’s seen in a book or that he’s conceptualized in his mind and he can apply it to everyday activities.
ZACH: Well, a radius is half of the circle, a diameter is a full circle.
MORALES: Thanks to Zach’s love of math and science, the concepts of geometry are as easy as pie.
SIMONS: He has an excellent math mind. He’s very logical.
KANAN: It’s kind of like the same, but not barely.
MORALES: For ten-year-old Kanan, solving a math problem is usually easy. Talking about his solution is the hard part.
SIMONS: He is more shy and reserved. But he’s really come out of his shell this year.
KANAN: Mental math is-- is math by doing it in your head.
JOANNE (Kanan’s Mother): All right.
MORALES: Kanan’s mom says Kanan’s confidence in the classroom is translating to more communication at school and at home.
JOANNE: He’s actually becoming more verbal with me where he talks about his feelings and things that are happening in school, which-- it’s-- it’s really nice.
KANAN: Wait, Zach, Zach, Zach it’s not equal yet.
MORALES: Kanan has been classmates with Zach for four of their five years in elementary school. Along with his growing confidence, Kanan’s comfort level with Zach makes him a good math partner.
ZACH: You want to do it this time?
KANAN: Let me do it.
SIMONS: There is a mutual respect there. You know, Zach would res-- was respecting Kanan’s opinion and Kanan felt comfortable enough with Zach to be able to say I disagree.
ZACH: The diameter is one hundred eighty.
MORALES: Zach and Kanan test their answers on the playground.
SIMONS: You found it excellent.
MORALES: And now it’s time for pie.
KANAN: I like cheese. This is good.
MORALES: This kind of pie and that kind of pi.
SIMONS: We’re having the P-I-E because of the P-I.
Math and Statistics
Have your students find examples of where Pi can be found in school or at home. Then, make a "Where is Pi" video showing all of the places the students found Pi.
For information and activities around Pi Day visit www.piday.org
March 14 marks Pi Day, an annual celebration of the mathematical sign pi. The annual event was founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw. He selected March 14 for the celebration because the numerical date, 3.14, represents the first three digits of pi. It also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday —the perfect pi-incidence.