Math Background

Pi: When Students Ask

  • Why should I bother learning this?
    Knowing when to use a formula, what formula to use, and how to use a formula correctly are critical factors. Formulas are used in mathematics and science because they save a lot of time and effort. If students understand how a formula is derived, it will help them remember the formula.
  • Is there any relationship between the area of a circle and the circumference of a circle?
    There is a relationship between the area of a circle and its circumference. If you know the radius, diameter, or circumference of a circle, you can compute the area of a circle. As the radius or diameter of a circle increases, so does the circumference and the area of the circle.
  • Does pi symbol equal 3.14?
    No, it doesn't equal 3.14 exactly, but it is very close to that value. Pi is what mathematicians call an irrational number, which means that it cannot be written as a ratio of two whole numbers, a over b, where b does not equal 0. The value of 3.14 is a good approximation to pi symbol, and so is the fraction twenty-two-sevenths . Tell your students that they will study more about irrational numbers in high school. Have your students look up more on the Internet about the number pi.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 6