Nerds of the world, get ready: this Saturday, 3/14/15, is the Ultimate Pi Day. At 9:26am the date will read the same as the first eight digits of π (3.1415926), an irrational constant for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter whose decimal representation never ends or repeats. Whether you’re a Pi Geek or you’re looking to have some fun with math, here are my top 10 suggestions for ways to celebrate the holiday.
- Pi Crafts – Visual representations of the digits of π make for very creative art projects. Search Pinterest for ideas for DIY jewelry, cityscapes, and even “pi-kus” (haikus in a 3-1-4 format). Bonus: these are great projects to help students memorize the digits and get excited about math.
- Pi Competition – If you’ve got a group of people with adept memories at your disposal, why not challenge your friends to a Pi recitation. Have everyone step up and see who can remember the most digits, or set a timer and see how many you can remember yourself. Winner gets to choose their favorite pie!
- Pi Paraphernalia – Much like bacon, π is a staple of nerd/geek fandom nowadays. ThinkGeek and Amazon have a wide variety of fun products available to help showcase your Pi Pride, including pie plates, neckties, and T-shirts. Or take advantage of your creative side and make your own.
- Ted Talks/Fan Videos – Check out this TED video by 9-year old Chirag Singh about his love for all things π. Then browse YouTube for some fun fan-made videos celebrating our favorite irrational number.
- Life of Π – For the bibliophiles out there, why not read up on the history of Pi? Head to your library and check out A History of Pi by Petr Beckmann and Pi: A Biography of the World’s Most Mysterious Number by Alfred S. Posamentier. For kids, give them the gift of Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neushwander.
- Math in the Movies – Pi Day is a great occasion to celebrate with your favorite math movie. Stand and Deliver, A Beautiful Mind, 21, and Good Will Hunting are a few general crowd pleasers. Take a look at this list of Pi Day Movies for more suggestions.
- Pi Run – At Georgia Institute of Technology they have a running trail marked out that circles campus for 3.14 miles. It’s known as a “Pi Mile”. Use your favorite GPS app and chart out a 3.14 mile course for a morning walk, jog, or run.
- Math Trivia – Pi Day is a great time for a fun trivia contest. Use sites such as Trivia Café, Kids Math Games, Fun Trivia, or the QuizUp app to play some afternoon games.
- Local Events – Schools, science centers, libraries, and museums often host Pi Day events filled with games, food, and activities for all ages. For math teams/clubs, it’s also a great excuse to hold a fundraiser or social event.
- Pie! – The absolute best way to celebrate Pi Day is with pie. In fact, it’s pretty much required. You can even make pie in the shape of Pi, or decorate a pepperoni pizza pie with irrational digits. Here is a Pinterest board full of pies if you’re in a baking mood, or head to your favorite bakery for a variety of sweet treats.
If you’re looking for more ideas, browse the official Pi Day website. Pi Day is an annual event (March 14th), but this one in particular happens only once a century. So grab some friends and get ready to celebrate! Remember, life wouldn’t be the same without pie…I mean Pi 🙂