Monday, April 7, 2014

Make Mine Math: Pi Day Fun!

Science Experiment: Cutting Pi
We gave the kids different size circular objects along with a piece of yarn.  Together we used the yarn to measure the circumference of the circular object (cutting the yarn to the exact circumference).  Then we cut as many yarn diameters from the circumference string as we could.  This was a hands-on way to explain Pi to the kids.

We had Blockus and Hexicards available for the kids to play when they finished their other activities.  Hexicards can be played like Dominoes but matching colors instead of dots.  The more colors you can match the more points you get.

hexi cards
Craft: Tesselations!
Using instructions from:, the kids could make their own Escher-like tesselation.

Craft: Pi Day Bracelet
Craft: Pi Skylines
Two variations: all black or matching Pi bracelet color choices.

Large squares for younger ages

Using the Pi Bracelet sheets and graph paper, the kids created skylines using the numbers of pi (coloring in three squares, then one, then four, etc).  They could add watercolor sky when they were done.

Craft: Circle Art
Using Picture Pie by Ed Emberley, the kids cut circles to create art.

Attendance: 20, 12
This was an AWESOME program.  The kids really got into all the activities.  The science experiment was just too hard for the kids to do.  The younger school age kids needed a lot of help to figure it out, so we nixed it for our second program.  The Pi Bracelets were a flop in one way in that the kids didn't quite get the concept of it.  However, they instead created their own patterns, which is also math-based so it wasn't a complete flop.  The skylines all turned out great.  A few kids also used the graph paper to make Minecraft images.  The circle art was fun, but many didn't quite get the concept of folding the circles into halves and halves and halves to get the required shapes needed to make different creatures.  I think this would have been better if we had done this as a group at the same time and explained better how to create the shapes.  The Tesselations and Hexicards were also popular.  I wish we had had more time to play Hexicards as the kids really got into it and we even had a bunch of kids watching.

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