Great Chain of Pi

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  800 Fort Negley Blvd., Nashville, TN 37203

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DIY Science

Rainy day blues? Summertime slump? Cabin fever?

Don’t worry… we’ve got you covered!

Adventure Science Center is proud to offer DIY science lessons and experiments the whole family can enjoy! Each lesson provides instruction, a materials list, and ideas for activities to get hands-on with science, including sample questions to get those gears turning.

GREAT CHAIN OF PI by Science Educators

Mmmm... pie! Wait, no, we're talking about mathematic's favorite irrational constant, pi! This infinite number (3.14159265...) is an extremely important tool used to calculate everything from a circle's diameter to how the world works with quantum mechanics. Explore the infinite *magic* of this special number with this fun and crafty DIY activity!


  • Construction Paper (various colors)
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter (Make sure an adult is present!)
  • Stapler or Tape
  • Note paper
  • Pen or Pencil








Dark Blue














Light Blue



In this activity, we will use construction paper "loops" to represent the digits of pi. First, sort out your construction paper by color and cut each sheet into 2" strips either with your scissors or a paper cutter, making sure to keep all the like colors together in neat piles. Use your note paper and pen/pencil to create a table like the one to the right. This will be your guide for what colors go where in your chain.

Now that you have a guide and your materials, look up the first several digits of pi here to get started on your chain! Create each link by looping your strips of construction paper and then stapling or taping it. Repeat that step with each new link, making sure that you connect the previous link before you staple or tape the new one. See how long you can make your chain. The beauty of pi is that it is truly endless... and so is the fun! With each link, see if you can come up with ways that pi exists all around us and how we can use it to better understand our world.

Futher Exploration:

  • How many digits of pi can you memorize? See if you can try to arrange some of the links just from memory!
  • Grab a calculator for this one - Use pi to measure the circumference of one of your pi links! Measure the diameter (d) of the link and multiply that by pi (π). 
    • Formula: C = πd
  • Explore mathematic functions just like this one in our newest exhibition, Math Moves!
Posted by Anna Leigh Goolsby at 3:00 PM
800 Fort Negley Blvd. Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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