Open to all Middle and High School Classes
Division I – 6^{th} – 8^{th} grade
Division II – 9^{th} – 12^{th} grade
Due: January 25, 2013
Table of Contents
 The Challenge
 Range of Activities
 Process
 Essential Questions
 Student Outcomes
 Evaluation Rubric
 Curricular Goals
The Challenge
The number pi (π) has just won a “Lifetime Achievement Award” since (although not always known) it has existed forever and appears in countless places. Pi has agreed to be interviewed for the first time ever and it is up to your group to conduct an engaging, informative interview with pi about its history, its identity as a number, and its applications and appearances in the real world/nature.
Here’s what your team needs to do:
 Research the number pi (π) including its discovery and history, as well as its applications in geometry.
 Optional (teachers decide whether to include this): Create a Resource Citation Paper to keep track of the resources that the team is using to support your conclusions.
 Pay specific attention to its identity as an irrational number and as a constant value.
 How can the size of a circle vary, while pi always remains the same value?
 How can pi be defined as a ratio, but yet, not as a fraction?
 High school teams: Include applications of pi in trigonometry, including radian measurement. Also, include a mention of tau in your interview. Consider the following scenario for inspiration:
 Tau is threatening to take the award in the future and claims to be more useful and practical than pi. How does pi feel about tau as competition?
 Create a 23 minute video, interviewing pi, discussing the group’s findings from the above research.
 The group may choose exactly how to personify pi – as simply a voice, as a person, as an object etc.
 The group may also choose the media format to use – a talk show, a newscaster reporting on location, a Barbara Walters Special, etc.
 As part of the interview, the group must identify and show 3 specific instances where pi appears in their community/in nature (i.e. 3 examples of something perfectly round) in order to further express the impact of pi.
 Keep in mind that “community” can be defined very broadly to mean your school, your town, your neighborhood…. Be sure to communicate how your team has chosen to define “community”.
Deliverables include:
 Final verbatim script
 Interview video (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
 Resource Citation Paper, as determined by your teacher
Range of Activities
 Research and analysis of pi and its mathematical history
 Investigation of the properties of a circle and of irrational numbers
 Character creation – personification of pi
 Creative Brainstorming about compelling ways to communicate the content
 Script writing
 Video – Preproduction, Production, Postproduction
 Directing, Casting, Rehearsing, Video Editing, Audio Editing
Process
We recommend that this Meridian Stories Challenge take place inside of a three to four week time frame. The students must work in teams of 34. All internal reviews by the teacher are at the discretion of the teacher. Below is a suggested breakdown for the students’ work.
During Phase One, student teams will:
 Research the number pi using a variety of sources, keeping track of all the sources used for your Resource Citation paper. Focus on the following:
 Discovery and History
 Applications in Geometry
 For High School Groups: Applications in Trigonometry and Tau
 Identity as:
 Irrational Number
 Constant Value
 Ratio
 Identify specific topics you would like to address and focus on for your interview.
 Remember that pi has just won a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
 Choose how your group is defining “community” and begin looking for specific instances of pi (examples of things that are perfectly round).
Meridian Stories provides two forms of support for the student teams.
Recommended review, as a team, for this Challenge include: 

Media Innovators and Artists  Meridian Tips 
On Mathematics in Everyday Life – Eric Gaze On Making Documentaries– Margaret Heffernan On Memoir and NonFiction Writing– Liza Bakewell On Interviewing – Tom Pierce 
“Creative Brainstorming Techniques” “Conducting an Interview” “Time Management” “Building Characters” 
During Phase Two, student teams will:
 Continue researching pi. (The results of your research can be presented to the teacher for review and comments, at the teacher’s discretion.)
 Prepare interview questions and pi’s answers. This will become the basis for the script.
 Complete your search for 3 specific instances of pi in your community and add these into the working script.
 Decide on how your group will personify pi. Include the character traits, voice, and physical appearance of pi.
 Decide on the exact media format for the video (talk show, newscaster reporting on location, etc.)
 Begin preproduction. This primarily includes casting the roles of the interviewer and possibly pi; choosing the setting/location for the interview; choosing the costumes and props for the characters; and planning the logistics for the shoot.
 Rehearse and block the interview in your chosen location.
During Phase Three, student teams will:
 Finalize the script. (The final script can be presented to the teacher for review and comments, at the teacher’s discretion.)
 Shoot the interview video.
 Edit the video.
 Postproduce the video, adding music, sound effects, etc. as desired.
 Complete the Resource Citation Paper.
Essential Questions
 How was pi discovered and what is the story of its history?
 What role does pi play in geometric/(trigonometric) formulas and problems?
 What is the relationship between a circle’s circumference and diameter?
 How can pi be constant for every circle, regardless of its size?
 What is the relationship between a circle’s circumference and diameter?
 What is an irrational number?
 Why is pi considered a ratio, but not a fraction?
 Where does pi appear in everyday life/around your community/in nature?
 In creating a character voice for pi on the page and on the screen, what are the most important choices you made?
 What are the challenges of mixing fiction writing (creating a character voice) with nonfiction writing (relaying the story/history/applications of pi)?
 How has immersion in the production of digital media deepened the overall educational experience?
 How has working on a team changed the learning experience?
Student Outcomes
 The student will gain an appreciation for the historic development of math.
 The student will understand math as a discipline with an element of discovery.
 The student will understand pi as a discovery, a proportion of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and its uses in solving geometric/ (trigonometric) problems.
 The student will understand that pi is a constant value because the ratio of circumference to diameter in a circle is always constant.
 The student will gain an understanding of the concepts of proportional reasoning and covarying quantities.
 The student will understand the concept of an irrational number and will be able to explain pi’s identity as a ratio, but not a fraction.
 The student will discover the prevalence and relevance of pi in everyday life.
 The student will understand the critical elements that go into creating character.
 The student will be able to distinguish some of the critical differences between fiction and nonfiction writing.
 The student will know the basic constructs of using video media to effectively communicate character and content.
 The student will know some of the basic constructs of the documentary/nonfiction video genre.
 The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration.
Evaluation Rubric – Interview With Pi
CONTENT COMMAND – Clear understanding of pi including its identity, its applications, and its appearances in the community.  
Criteria  13  47  810 
Communication of Content – The Number and its History  Pi’s numerical identity is not clearly communicated  Pi’s numerical identity is evident, but is not presented clearly or consistently  Pi’s numerical identity is communicated thoroughly and clearly 
Communication of Content – Applications  The applications of pi in geometry are missing or not presented clearly  The applications of pi in geometry are evident, but not presented clearly or consistently  The applications of pi in geometry are presented clearly and compellingly 
Communication of Content – Appearances in Real World  The 3 specific instances of pi in the community are missing or not presented clearly  The 3 specific instances of pi are evident, but not presented clearly or consistently  The 3 specific instances of pi are presented clearly and compellingly 
STORYTELLING COMMAND – Effective use of character and the interview format to create a compelling narrative.  
Criteria  13  47  810 
Overall Narrative of Interview  The sequencing of the interview makes the narrative hard to follow  The narrative is presented clearly, but is inconsistently engaging  The narrative is engaging and presented clearly and compellingly 
Character (Pi)  The personification of pi as a character is not particularly engaging or suitable to its backstory  The personification of pi serves the interview effectively  The character of pi is engaging, entertaining, and suitable to its backstory 
MEDIA COMMAND – Effective use of media to communicate content, character and story.  
Criteria  13  47  810  
Directing/Acting  The directing and acting lack coherence and discipline  The directing and acting are solid, but inconsistently engaging  The direction is clear and coherent, and the acting is convincing and believable  
Setting/Format  The setting and creative approach to the interview don’t enhance our understanding and enjoyment  The setting and creative approach to the interview are interesting choices, but inconsistently engaging  The setting and creative approach enhance our enjoyment and understanding of the interview  
Editing/Music/Sound  The final video feels patched together and the overall editing and use of music/sound detracts from the story  The final video flows, but there are occasional editing/sound/musical distractions  The final video is edited cleanly and effectively, and the addition of music and/or sound enhance our enjoyment of the interview  
21^{ST} CENTURY SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only) – Effective use of collaborative thinking, creativity and innovation, and initiative and selfdirection to create and produce the final project.  
Criteria  13  47  810  
Collaborative Thinking  The group did not work together effectively and/or did not share the work equally  The group worked together effectively and had no major issues  The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member  
Creativity and Innovation  The group did not make a solid effort to create anything new or innovative  The group was able to brainstorm new and inventive ideas, but was inconsistent in their realistic evaluation and implementation of those ideas.  The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively  
Initiative and SelfDirection  The group was unable to set attainable goals, work independently and manage their time effectively  The group required some additional help, but was able to complete the project on time with few problems  The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project  
Curricular Goals
The Interview with Pi Challenge addresses a range of curricular objectives that have been articulated by the new Common Core Curricular Standards – Mathematics.
Below please find the standards that are addressed, either wholly or in part.
Common Core Curricular Standards – Mathematics
Overall Standards for Mathematical Practice
 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
 Attend to the meaning of quantities.
Grade 6
 Ratios and Proportional Relationships (6.RP)
 Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
 Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. (6.RP.1)
 Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
Grade 7
 Geometry (7.G)
 Solve reallife and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume.
 Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle. (7.G.4)
 Solve reallife and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume.
Grade 8
 The Number System (8.NS)
 Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers.
 Know that numbers that are not rational are called irrational. (8.NS.1)
 Use rational approximations of irrational numbers to compare the size of irrational numbers. (8.NS.2)
 Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers.
High School – Functions
 Trigonometric Functions (FTF)
 Extend the domain of trigonometric functions using the unit circle
High School – Geometry
 Circles (GC)
 Understand and apply theorems about circles.
 Prove that all circles are similar. (GC.1)
 Understand and apply theorems about circles.
 Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry (GSRT)
 Define trigonometric ratios and solve problems involving right triangles.