March 14th (3.14) is the annual celebration of the number pi – 3.1415926. It is a day for math teachers to be creative and use 21st century resources to engage a new generation of math learners. (For more lesson ideas read our recent post 5 Amazing Websites to Prepare for the Pi Day Challenge)
The best interactive activity for math enthusiasts to celebrate Pi Day is the Pi Day Challenge! The opening page of the website explains:
“The Pi Day Challenge is a series of puzzles that are logic-based. A team of logicians adapted or created these puzzles – some require research, some require mathematics, some require pure savvy.”
There are 3 easy ways to accept the the Pi Day Challenge:
- Sign on with Facebook
- Enter an email address and password OR
- Register as a guest
The Pi Day Challenge team wants students and adults around the world to be able to participate easily and hassle-free, that is why they created these very convenient and easy to use options.
Teachers can use this 21st Century Learning activity in a variety of ways.
Test your personal knowledge – These activities are very fun and challenging. The puzzles require you to think in a variety of ways. It may be that you judge the the Pi Day Challenge to be a great activity that is level appropriate for your students.
No matter how a math teachers uses this activity, taking the challenge is an amazing opportunity to see how the Pi Day Challenge could be incorporated into your curriculum.
Spend a class period in the computer room – If your school has the technology and availability, and your students have the skill and motivation, spend a class period working together or individually to solve the puzzles. Just step back and watch how students will creatively and cooperatively work to solve the problems.
Solve the problems as a class – Although probably not the most ideal way to engage students, if you have access to a Smart Board / projector, you could complete some of the puzzles as a class. Using this method would work great with smaller class sizes. Perhaps you select a few of the puzzles that are most appropriate for your students’ abilities.
Extra Credit – This is a final alternative if your school is technologically challenged. With this method you will engage your motivated students. You may not reach all your students, however the ones you do emgage will be completely passionate about finding the solutions.
The Pi Day Challenge team uses a variety of ways to track the progress. The genius board is a listing of all the people who have completed the entire challenge.
We have spoken with Matthew Plummer, the creator of the The Pi Day Challenge. We are hoping to have him provide a guest post in the future.
As you can imagine, he and his team are extremely busy right now providing such an incredible resource for the entire mathematical community.
If you enjoy this challenge, please consider making the small donation in celebration of Pi $3.14. He has invested years of his time developing this great challenge. He would love to be able to continue to provide The Pi Day Challenge in the future.