Happy Pi Day week! Are you planning to memorize all the digits of pi or maybe just eat some blueberry pie? If you are looking for new ideas, read on for STEM activities all about Pi! We have everything from a virtual pie to a spinning pie to help celebrate Pi Day with your students.
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1. STEM Rover Challenge
First up is the STEM Rover Challenge using the engineering design process. We took the classic rubber band powered rover challenge for a mission on another planet! Using recycled materials, students apply potential and kinetic energy along with learning about wheel and axle simple machines to design their rover. Students then use Pi to analyze their design through fun math extension questions. We even included career connections highlighting various STEM careers and how they use Pi!
Don’t have time to complete this challenge on Pi Day? This is still a great lesson for any time of the year. Bring in current events by relating it to the rovers that roam on other planets like Mars! Learn more about NASA rovers here.
2. Spinning Pie
Nothing lazy about this Pi Day activity! This is a great activity for kids at home to practice math skills. Grab a lazy susan and a toy - I used a LEGO chef holding pie! Place the toy on the edge of the turntable and give it a spin. Count the number of times it makes a full circle before stopping. You can also record the time it takes to make the trip. If it doesn’t make a full circle, this is also a great way to talk about fractions and incorporate even more math! Measure the radius from the center of the lazy susan to the toy and use Pi to make the following calculations:
What is the total distance traveled in a circle by the toy?
What is the average speed that the toy traveled in a circle? (Start with revolutions per second then calculate using units of length per second)
If the toy was holding a tiny pie that slipped out of its hands during the trip around the turntable, how far would it fly in 1.5 seconds assuming it travels at a constant velocity?
How fast can you spin it without the toy falling off?
3. Quiver App Pi
How about some Pi Day Augmented Reality? We’ve told you about the Quiver App before, but have you checked out the free Pi coloring page? This is a fun way to get even the littlest of STEMists involved in Pi Day! Just print the free coloring page from the education starter pack on quivervision.com, download the app, and go! You will see definitions of equations that use Pi as well as some Pi facts all in augmented reality.
In addition to bringing your drawing to life, highlight the STEM involved by discussing how virtual and augmented reality can be used to improve how we experience or solve problems in the real world. Ask your kids what STEM skills they think are needed to develop this technology.
Hungry for more? Check out these other ideas:
You never know what may inspire the next generation of math whizzes and problem solvers!
Have a Happy Pi Day!
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