Q&A #571

Understanding Pi

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From: Joetta C. Mark
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Sep 16, 1998 at 00:13:17
Subject: Understanding Pi

I am trying to explain the irrationality of pi to my 12 year-old child. He just doesn't understand how pi came to exist and how it can have some repeating values without terminating. I tried to explain using the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. I don't know he would understand finding the limit of the perimeter of an n-gon. Do you have any simple suggestions? I would appreciate your help on my son's confusion. Thank you for your help. I originally sent this question to Dr. Math and he suggested you and your group would be more appropriate.

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