I Spy a LOT of Numbers - Make a Pi Necklace Activity

I Spy a LOT of Numbers - Make a Pi Necklace Activity

by Maureen Welcker
February 20, 2019

The numbers that make up π go on and on forever. And for centuries people have attempted to calculate and recite more and more digits of π. In 2016 a computer calculated 22,459,157,718,361 digits of π, the record so far. The current Guinness World Record for reciting π digits is held by Rajveer Meena who in 2015 and at the age of 21 recited 70,000 numbers in 9 hours and 27 minutes.

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628
6208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117
4502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831
6527120190914564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817
4881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433
0572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912
2793818301194912983367336244065664308602139494639522473719070217986094370277053921
7176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178
7214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290219608640344181
5981362977477130996051870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859502445945534
6908302642522308253344685035261931188171010003137838752886587533208381420617177669
1473035982534904287554687311595628638823537875937519577818577805321712268066130019
27876611195909216420198.....

In reality scientific applications, even those that need a high level of precision, need no more than a few hundred digits when using π. Beyond that, knowing more digits is primarily for scientific curiosity or competition. Such competition is not limited to humans, though. The task of computing π to billions or trillions of decimal places is often given as a speed test for supercomputers.

How long can you stay interested in putting together the digits of π?

Make a π necklace

Materials:

  • String (elastic or plain) or yarn
  • Number beads (sold on the Internet, home made by writing on wooden beads or penne pasta)
  • Plastic number charms
  • Color beads
  • Small wooden numbers (thin versions can be found at dollar stores which are easy to poke holes in)
  • List of the first 1,000 digits of π given above

1. Using the list above, string the digits of π into a necklace (or bracelet) using the correct order.

2. Number beads or plastic number charms sold on the Internet can be used for this purpose. You can also make your own number beads by writing on wooden beads (often can be found at a dollar store) or on penne pasta. Thin, small wooden numbers can also be strung, especially if other beads are strung between each letter. You can also use color beads, designating a certain color for a certain number.

3. See how many π digit beads/pasta you are willing to string.

 ******

This is the second in our series of Pi Day activities and resources created by STEMstitute. Be sure to check out Finding Pi Around the House, How Pi Got its Name, and Pie for Pi Day!




Maureen Welcker

Maureen Welcker is the owner of STEMstitute, an organization committed to showing kids and families how the fun of STEM is connected to just about every area of our lives. She adventures in Boise, Idaho with her husband and three children.


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