Stephen Hawking – Understanding the Universe

Pi Day is a day math and science enthusiasts love, not only for all the fun Pi Day activities, but also because it was Albert Einstein’s birthday, one of the most iconic mathematicians/scientists/physicists, who developed the theory of relativity. This year’s Pi Day, ironically, the world lost another renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking. Whether you never heard of Stephen Hawking until the movie The Theory of Everything (2014) or whether you only know him from his voice on the Simpsons or Star Trek, The Next Generation or The Big Bang Theory, his death is a loss to the world of science and math.

It seems silly for me to list all that Mr. Hawking contributed, when his website does such a terrific job of that already. Here is the link to his site, where you can read about Stephen Hawking, see the many publications of his, the books he wrote, the lectures he gave (transcripts), the movies about him and with him, and videos he made. This is a great resource for teachers and students to explore.

I want to leave you with a video of Stephen Hawking talking about his love of science and as he said “I did my work because I wanted to understand the universe”.

Rest in Peace and thank you for all your contributions that have helped the rest of us understand our universe a little better.

 

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Pi Day 2018

I know there are many math teachers prepping for Pi Day (March 14, 2018), so I wanted to provide some links to resources that might help support your efforts.

One thing I use to do with my students – middle and high school alike – was have everyone bring in ’round’ food – i.e. Moon Pies, Little Debbie Snack, pies, cookies, etc.  We would verify ‘pi’ by using string to measure the circumference, and rulers to measure the diameters of all the items brought in before anyone was allowed to eat. We’d have a contest on who could recite the most digits of pi – that was always a hoot. There was always some history about pi and I would where one of my Pi t-shirts (hey, math teacher – so yes, I have Pi T-shirts!!) – my favorite being the pi symbol made of skittles that said ‘Sweety Pi”.

Below are some links to activities and historical facts about Pi for those of you searching for things to do with students on Pi Day.

  1. Did you know Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day? This article provides some history about Pi, such as how it got its name. It wasn’t from the Greeks, surprisingly!! http://time.com/4699479/pi-day-2017-history-origins/
  2. The Exploratorium has a bunch of resources, from history, to activities, to the numbers of Pi, and if you live in San Francisco, admission is free on Pi Day – https://www.exploratorium.edu/pi  and the Pi Day event http://sf.funcheap.com/annual-pi-day-exploratorium/
  3. There is an actual PiDay website – all things pi for March 14.  Tons of ideas and resources here http://www.piday.org/
  4. Did you know some stores and restaurants have Pi Day specials? (Whole Foods, Blaze Pizza) – http://www.wral.com/pi-day-deals-wednesday-march-14/17396508/
  5. This link has some history, some activity suggestions https://www.wincalendar.com/Pi-Day
  6. Another site with activity ideas and fun facts about Pi – including the Pi song (see below) and a Pi video http://www.chiff.com/home_life/holiday/pi-day.htm
  7. If you live in NYC, the Museum of Math has free admission on Pi Day and are serving pie! https://momath.org/about/upcoming-events/
  8. If you live in or near Princeton, NJ, the entire town celebrates Pi Day – probably because Einstein lived there. https://princetontourcompany.com/activities/pi-day/
  9. NASA’s Pi In the Sky challenges for Pi Day https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7074
  10. 25 Ways to celebrate Pi Day https://holidappy.com/holidays/25-Best-Ways-to-Celebrate-Pi-Day-314

There’s a Pi Song?!!!

Enjoy you Pi-day preparations!!!