Question:
Can you please share with me a good activity to explain "pi" to children
(ages 11-12).

Replies:
Although I have no "math-ed" credentials, how about trying some experimenta-
tion like finding some circles or cylinders at home and measuring diameters
and circumferences. Require a written response that includes a description
of what was used to measure the circumference. Share all data and compare
the various values of the ratios that should estimate pi. Ask the group to
speculate as to the causes of error (a highly rated experience by me) versus
a simple theoretic estimate like 3.14. Hopefully, calculators are readily
available and allowed. Find some historical references, if possible, that
emphasize the changes in estimates of pi that have occurred over much time
even though the geometric idea has not changed. Finally, let individuals or
groups (best if they can work) consider their own choices of other geometric
shapes for which they might define diameters and explore the constancy of
the same kind of ratio.

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