by Karen
Shaw
Paul Revere Middle School
Houston, Texas
 Subject Areas: Computer Literacy, Math
 Grade Levels: 7th9th grade
 Time Requirements:
 Approximately 1/2 hour Class Time
 Approximately 2 hours Computer Time
 Student Prerequisites:
 Spreadsheet basics
 Ability to read a ruler
 Topics:
 Spreadsheets
 Measuring circumference of a circle to discover pi.
 Brief Overview: Working in partners, students will measure the circumference and diameter of various round objects. They will then record this and determine the ratio of the circumference to the diameter.
 Materials Required For This Lesson:
 Computer with Spreadsheet Software
 Various round objects (enough so that each pair has 6)
 String and rulers
 Internet access
 Procedure:
 Create the following spreadsheet and print it.
AROUND AND AROUND WE GO
NAME OF OBJECT 
CIRCUMFERENCE 
DIAMETER 
RATIO OF THE CIRCUMFERENCE TO THE DIAMETER 




 With your partner carefully measure the circumference and diameter of each object to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.
 Record your finding on your spreadsheet. Remember to put an equal (=) sign in front of each fraction. The computer will change the fractions to a 2 place decimal. The number of decimal places may be changed  check with your teacher for the correct number of places.
 Calculate the ratio of the circumference to the diameter for each object.
 Now calculate the average of these ratios.
 Print your spreadsheet.
 Answer the following questions on the back of your spreadsheet.
 What was the average ratio of the circumference to the diameter?
 It should be within a few decimal points of what number?
 What may have caused your ratio to not match pi?
 Extensions
Top of the page.
(Last Update: November 16, 1997 )
This page was developed through GirlTECH
'97, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored
by the Center for Research on
Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National
Science Foundationfunded Science
and Technology Center.
© January 1998 Karen Shaw
http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/kmasshaw/