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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