Blueberry, apple, pumpkin … try not to get too distracted by flavorful thoughts as we talk about the other, less edible kind of Pi. This mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, has long been celebrated by civilizations of the past and present. It is a key mathematical expression used in technology, engineering, and sciences.
Pi is so important, in fact, that it gets its own global movement: Pi Day on March 14th (that’s 3.14, of course). With the help of the Microsoft Educator Community you can join in and use the below STEM-themed lesson suggestions, divided into four neat slices, to help Pi come alive in your classroom.
1. Science: Skype in the Classroom fieldtrips
- Behind the Scenes in a Science Lab (Partners in Research Canada)Does your class want to go behind the scenes in a working science laboratory? Partners in Research works with a number of scientists across Canada who can take your students into their lab via Skype, show them the equipment and process necessary for scientific exploration and testing, and answer questions about their work, or even career paths, in science.
- Thomas Edison: Idea to Product (Thomas Edison National Historical Park)How do products come to be? We welcome you to join us at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park for a talk and a walk through Thomas Edison’s final lab complex in West Orange, New Jersey. Learn about the first ever Research and Development R&D lab.
- Meet the World’s Deadliest Animal: The Mosquito (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)On this Skype virtual field trip we’ll introduce your students to the world’s deadliest animal: the mosquito. By spreading diseases, mosquitoes are responsible for upwards of a million deaths worldwide every year, more than any poisonous snake, crocodile, lion or other animal.
- Space Science (Intrepid Museum)In this Skype field trip to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, students receive a behind the scenes tour of the Space Shuttle Pavilion, including the space shuttle Enterprise, Mercury 7 capsule and Gemini 3 capsules. Stellar travel fans will remember that Intrepid was the prime recovery vessel for two space race missions.
2. Technology: PD courses
- Step Up to Computer ScienceIn the Step Up to Computer Science course, you will find many ideas and strategies to help transport CS concepts into your classroom. This course covers topics for educators looking to start a computer science program in their school, for those curious as to how other educators run their computer science programs, or for teacher who would like to integrate computer science skills into other subjects.
- Introduction to Microsoft Imagine AcademyTake this course to learn how the Imagine Academy supports STEM and employability skills for students and educators alike. You’ll also discover the numerous program benefits, hear inspiring global success stories and learn how to join this growing program. Successfully completing the course gives participants a new badge and 500 points toward becoming a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator.
3. Engineering: Hacking STEM
- STEM Lessons and Hands-On ActivitiesBuild affordable scientific instruments and visualize data across space, earth, life, and physical sciences curriculum with students. Use lesson plans written by teachers to enrich science, technology, engineering, and math classes with activities and assessments aligned to middle school standards.
4. Math: Pi/math lesson plans on MEC
- “Circles in our Cities”See how MIEE educator Jelena Kenić collaborates with educators around Europe to demonstrate how math is everywhere we look.
- “Mathcraft”MIE Master Trainer Jack Hitchings‘ lesson plan teaches how units of measurement can be used to compare and determine the measurable values of objects and shapes through Minecraft and Office Mix. Ideal for grades 4-6.
- “Fun with Fractions”Through OneNote and OfficeMix, MIE master Trainer Morgan McKeen illustrates how to math instruction can be flipped for fun when learning about adding fractions.
Remember: Always save a little room for Pi!