Celebrate Pi Day on the Traverse Wall®
Pi Day is March 14, and we are here to help you celebrate on your climbing wall. In case you need a math refresher, pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Most people know it as 3.14, however it’s actually an irrational number so there is no end to the number of digits after the decimal point and no repeating pattern. Some people celebrate Pi Day by eating pie. We offer these climbing activities to honor the day with physical activity and fun!
CLIMBING FOR PI
- Poster of the digits of pi for above/near the Traverse Wall®
- 6 plastic hoops to use as targets
- Labels (numbers and decimal point) for plastic hoops
- Bean bags labeled with 3, 1, 4, 1, 5 and decimal points. You will need duplicates. You can label them with masking tape and a permanent marker.
- Print and hang poster.
- Place hoops in front of the climbing wall at a distance that you think climbers can make when tossing a bean bag. Spread all six hoops out evenly in front of the Traverse Wall but avoid placement in front of the first panel on the right side of the climbing wall. (This allows space/time for climbers to get on the rock wall.)
- Print and place labels next to hoops in the correct order (3.1415).
- Label bean bags.
- Place labeled bean bags on hand holds on the climbing wall, avoiding the first panel on the right side of the climbing wall. (This allows space/time for climbers to get on the rock wall.) Randomly place the digits across the whole wall and also place them high and low on all panels.
Grade Levels: 2 & up
For this activity, climbers are challenged to accurately toss labeled bean bags into targets to correctly make the first five digits of pi. To begin, line climbers up to the right side of the climbing wall. They will begin climbing on the right side, traveling left so that when they turn to look at the targets, the digits are in the correct order (reading left to right). Climbers will need to look at the bean bags on the wall, choose one and attempt to get it into its correct place in the target line up. They only need to toss one bag during the entire traverse. They can decide how challenging they want this to be by choosing a numbered ben bag close to its target or far from its target. When climbers complete the first traverse, they should restart and climb again. Challenge them to try every digit/target on subsequent climbs.
Note: Bean bags will have to be periodically replaced to the climbing wall. Depending on age/maturity level, this could be done by climbers themselves.
- To increase challenge:
- Use additional digits of pi and targets.
- Do not label each target and require climbers to know which number goes in which target.
- Place targets farther from the climbing wall.
- Use smaller targets.
- To decrease challenge:
- Match the bean bags to the targets. Instead of randomly placing labeled bean bags, place the #3 bean bags on the panel in front of the #3 target, the decimal point bean bags in front of the decimal point target, and so on. Climbers will not have as far to toss bean bags.
- Do not label targets and do not label the bean bags with the digits of pi. Instead, label them with the pi symbol and have climbers toss bags into any target.
- Place hoops on the safety mats/closer to the climbing wall.
- Use larger targets.
- Collaborate with the math teachers in your school to coordinate with the day’s math lessons.
More Ways to Celebrate Pi / the Circle with Hoop and Ball Activities:
Hula Hoop Haven: Teams work cooperatively to traverse the climbing wall with arms linked through Hula Hoops.
One Hand Catch and Climb: A simple game of catch gets more interesting when one person is on the climbing wall!
Ball Holder Hand Hold: Add this accessory to your climbing wall to facilitate ball games.