Celebrating Pi Day: Finding Math in the Real World

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 -- Sarah Cornelius

Happy Pi Day! Every year on March 14th educators and students (plus a few die-hard math enthusiasts) celebrate the useful mathematical constant that begins with the digits 3.14. The day is always a crowd-pleaser with students, largely thanks to classroom celebrations involving a different kind of pie, but it’s also a great chance to point out the more practical value of mathematics in general. Here’s 10 real-world applications of math that your students may not have considered:

  1. Measuring ingredients for recipes
  2. Determining the total cost of food at the grocery store sold by weight
  3. Calculating sports statistics like win/loss ratios, batting averages, and goals per game
  4. Finding out how much money will be saved by using a coupon
  5. Plotting out the most efficient route on a map
  6. Determining interest earned in a savings account or accrued on a loan
  7. Calculating the time difference between different cities
  8. Reading a sheet of music to understand the time signature, counting, and rhythm of a song
  9. Completing household projects, like assembling furniture, building a deck, or buying paint
  10. Predicting the path of rain and snowstorms

Getting students excited about math may not always be the simplest task for teachers, but building a solid foundation of math skills is critical to success in the classroom—and it simply makes life easier to students! So, take advantage of this Pi Day to not only share a tasty classroom treat, but also sell your students on the real-world applications of math learning. If you’re in need of some engaging classroom ideas, both Education World and Edutopia have compiled great collections of Pi Day activities.

Looking for a tool to help your students hone math and other core skills all year long? Check out Edmentum’s data-driven solution for classroom practice and assessment, Study Island!