Friday, March 7, 2014

Two Activites to Help You Spring Forward

This is Spring?
Yesterday while returning from a Vet appointment, I passed a church that had a sign out front saying “Pray for spring.” I was reminded of that this morning as I looked out on my backyard (see pic) and noticed that the prayer wasn’t answered yet. Despite that, there are a few hopeful signs. I spotted a robin this morning forging for food with the rest of the hardy year rounders that are always taking advantage of my generosity with bird seed. The other sign is that today is March 7th and the spring equinox is only two weeks away. That means that students will be going out soon to measure shadow angles for the Noon Day Project. This year is special because my local math group AMTNJ is celebrating their 100th anniversary and the Eratosthenes measurement of the earth project is their highlighted activity. If you haven’t ever participated in the project do yourself a favor and watch Carl Sagan tell the story of how Eratosthenes measured the circumference of the earth to high accuracy using only sticks, shadows, a measuring device and brains!

The other event that reminds me that Spring is around the corner is March 14 better known as Pi Day.  See my post from last year entitled “A Pi Day Mystery”. Another possible treat for you is that I discovered the website put together by Luke Anderson. He’s the author of the Pi Rap that you will find there. His story is well worth a read!

And then of course there is Vi Hart now with Khan Academy. Check out her controversial(?) video pi is (still) wrong!

You might also have some fun with this headline Mathematicians stunned when Computer reaches last digit of Pi and Dan Cohen's TED talk entitled The Last Digit of Pi
Happy Spring Equinox and Pi Day. Can't wait.