Pi Day Celebration


Pi Day is an annual celebration observed on March 14th (3/14 in the month/day date format), representing the first three digits of the mathematical constant π (pi), which is approximately equal to 3.14159. Pi Day celebrates the significance of π, a fundamental mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

The concept of Pi Day originated in the late 1980s or early 1990s. It was first organized by Larry Shaw, a physicist at the Exploratorium, an interactive science museum in San Francisco, California. The inaugural Pi Day celebration took place at the Exploratorium on March 14, 1988. The date was chosen because 3/14 resembles the numerical value of pi.

Pi Day gained popularity over time, and it is now celebrated worldwide by mathematicians, educators, students, and enthusiasts of all ages. The celebration often includes various activities, events, and traditions centered around the mathematical constant π.

The Task

To prepare for these explorations, you will need to browse some lessons on circumference and area of circles. Next, you will engage in web-based inquiry to explore the meaning and history of Pi and calculations involving Pi. You will also explore the history of Pi Day and how it is celebrated. You can then celebrate Pi Day by engaging in online activities of your own choosing. Links to resources on Pi and Pi Day are provided. These tasks will require a computer, access to the web, paper and pencil.

The Process

piProcess Part I: Learning About Pi

  1. Read our Unit on Circumference and Area of Circles.
  2. Complete the exercises at the end of each lesson in this unit. .
  3. Try our Circumference and Area Worksheets.
  4. Try our new Interactive Circle Puzzles with buttons and timers.
  5. Visit Pi Day, the official web site for Pi Day.
  6. Visit The Exploratorium’s Pi Day Celebration.

Process Part II: Learning About the Meaning and History of Pi

  1. What is the relationship between the symbol pi.gif and the word Pi?
  2. The value of Pi comes from what ratio?
  3. Why is Pi called a mathematical constant?
  4. Why does Pi continue infinitely?
  5. Why is Pi an irrational number?
  6. How many digits of Pi are known?
  7. Which mathematicians first used the symbol pi.gif? Why?

Process Part III: Learning About Pi Day

  1. Why is Pi Day celebrated on March 14?
  2. For how many years has Pi Day been celebrated?
  3. March 14 is also whose birthday?
  4. Who tried to find the first calculation of Pi?

Process Part IV: Celebrating Pi Day

Spend a few hours celebrating Pi Day by engaging in online activities. You may choose activities from the suggested sites listed below. Or find your own activities by searching Google and Yahoo!

  1. The Exploratorium’s Pi Day Celebration
  2. The Joy of Pi
  3. The Math Forum Pi Day
  4. On Pi Day, one number ‘reeks of mystery’
  5. Pi Day
  6. TeachPi.org
  7. Visualizing Pi


  1. Unit on Circumference and Area of Circles.
  2. Selected worksheets and puzzles from Math Goodies.
  3. Selected websites listed in the Process sections above.
  4. Search engines such as Google and Duck Duck Go.


  1. Note the immediate feedback in the exercises from each lesson above.
  2. View the solutions to the crossword puzzles above.
  3. Write about Pi and Pi Day in your math journal.
  4. Share some of the online Pi Day activities you chose with a classmate or family member.
  5. Create your own Pi Day activity, such as a song, an image, a poem, or a poster.


Congratulations! You learned about the meaning and history of Pi. You also learned about Pi Day and celebrated through activities you found on the web.

Pi Day, celebrated annually on March 14th, serves multiple purposes within the mathematical and broader communities. It promotes math education by raising awareness about the importance of mathematics in daily life, aiming to inspire curiosity and appreciation among students and the public. Pi Day honors the mathematical constant π, crucial for calculations involving shapes like circles and spheres, emphasizing its significance in mathematics and science.

The celebration extends beyond academia, fostering engagement through fun activities such as pi-themed contests, art creations, and pie baking, promoting enjoyment and accessibility of math across all ages. Pi Day serves as a catalyst for community building, bringing together mathematicians, educators, students, and enthusiasts to share their passion for mathematics, highlighting its cross-disciplinary connections with fields like science, engineering, technology, and the arts, underscoring mathematics’ universal language and its profound impact on human knowledge and innovation.

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