Estimate Pi by Tossing Toothpicks on a Grid

Earlier this week, Ivan and Fred met with a researcher at Tufts, Michelle Wilkerson-Jerde, who's studying how middle-schoolers create representations of data. 

We mentioned a high school teacher who's using iSENSE for her kids to do statistics by "flipping" thumbtacks and counting whether they land point-up or point-down. Sort of like flipping coins, only it's not a 50/50 outcome.

Prof. Wilkerson-Jerde said it reminded her of a way of estimating pi by tossing toothpicks onto a grid of horizontal lines -- spaced one toothpick's width's apart.

Ivan's made a project based on this concept, originally proposed by 18th century by French philosopher Georges-Louis Leclerc.

Check it out:

-- Fred Martin

File Name
Tn toothpick