Topic 3: Recipes – As Easy as Pi(e)

With recipes being the topic this week, it tied in perfectly with today. It just so happens that today is March 14, which here in the United States we often write as 3-14. Well, this represents a very important number in math. It represents a number that we call pi. Now that’s not pie, like the kind you eat. We’ll get to that in a minute. Pi (π) is often written as 3.14. That represents the number of times that the diameter of a circle fits into the circumference of a circle.

Every year, we like to celebrate Pi Day because it’s something that we learn about it sixth grade. We use pi (3.14) to find both the circumference and area of a circle. The circumference is the distance around a circle. The area is the amount of space inside of a circle (or how many square units can fit into a circle). To celebrate, students bring in pies (not numbers but the actual food). We measure each pie to find the radius and diameter of it. Then, we use those numbers to find the circumference and area! Check out some pictures from our day below.

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about circumference and area, you can watch two of our Math Movie Network videos from last year.

Some students brought in recipes for the pies that they made. We’ve shared them in the presentation below. You can learn about some of the common types of pies that we eat in here in Massachusetts and then you can see how you can make it at home!


Have you ever heard of pi (π) before?

What is your favorite type of pie to eat?


Are the pies that you eat similar or different to the pies that we like to eat?