Everyone Loves Pi

2.2 based on 11 ratings

Updated on Nov 16, 2012

Math

6 & up

Hard

Minimal

None.

Material Availability

All materials readily available.

4-6 weeks

Objective

This project explores the properties of circles and the nature of pi.

The goals of this project are:

1. To demonstrate the nature of pi in an easily understandable way.
2. To encourage further interest in the field of mathematics.

Materials and Equipment

• Computer with Internet access
• Color printer
• Digital camera
• Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, wood, etc.)

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.

Introduction

Pi is a number whose value is approximately 3.141593... The digits of pi go on and on forever, and competitions are often held to see who can recite (from memory) pi to the farthest digit. Pi is used in the measurement of circles. For instance, the circumference of a circle is equal to its diameter times pi.

Research Questions

1. How was pi discovered?
2. How are circles used in technology?

Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research

• Circle
• Circumference
• Diameter
• Euclidean Geometry
• Pi

Experimental Procedure

• Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
• Search and print out interesting images that seem appropriate to this project.
• Address all of the above terms and research questions.
• List everything you notice about circles.
• Investigate the properties and applications of pi.
• Analyze your data.
• Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
• Include photos, charts, diagrams, and other visual aids in your science fair display.

Bibliography

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle (Wiki Topic: Circle)
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi (Wiki topic: Pi)
3. http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Pi-by-Throwing-Frozen-Hot-Dogs (A weird but fun way to calculate pi)
4. Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!
Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.