Measurement Experiments

Index Follow the Measurement Road!

3

Making a Measuring Wheel

11

Making a Sextant

12

Measurement Certification

14

Measuring with Rulers

16

RICEstimation

17

Sizing Things Up

18

Supply List

19

References

20

Childrenâ€™s Literature

21

Notes

22

Follow the Measurement Road!

Index

Measurement is an important skill to develop for use in both academic and “real life” settings. By making the act of measuring into a game, students will have a fun means of practicing their measuring skills.

Materials

Game boards for each student (pre-drawn with “path”) 1 measurement spinner per group Rulers 1 die per group 1 stack of Wild Cards and Challenge Cards per group Pencils or crayons

What To Do

Each student should have their own board, writing utensil and ruler, while each group should have a spinner, die and deck of Wild Cards and Challenge Cards. Explain the object of the game is to reach the end of the Measurement Road and overcome the final Measurement Challenge. The students should roll the die to determine the order in which they will start their measurements. They will then take turns spinning the measurement spinner. Whatever “distance” is landed on, the student must measure that distance from the start line (or previous measurement line) and make a new line. If a “wild card” is landed on, the students must draw one card from the top of the pile and follow the directions on the card. They may then replace the card at the bottom of the pile. Each student must measure their way to the end of the road then draw a final Challenge Card. The student must successfully complete the measurement challenge in order to win their game.

Source

WOW staff, 2002. © S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 2002.

Start Here

Measurement Hint #1 Remember, the Ruler starts at ZERO, so line the 0 end of the ruler up with the beginning point of your measurement!

Measurement Hint #3 When you are estimating lengths, picture the ruler in your mind. The ruler is 12 inches long. Is the object you are estimating longer or shorter than the ruler?

Measurement Challenge!!

to the

You made it

Measurement Hint #2 Remember, the Ruler has two units on it, inches and centimeters. Are you using the one you want?

Start here

Remember, the Ruler has two units on it, inches and centimeters. Are you using the one you want?

Measurement Hint #2

Remember, the Ruler starts at ZERO, so line the 0 end of the ruler up with the beginning point of your measurement!

Measurement Hint #1

Follow the Measurement Road

When you are estimating lengths, picture the ruler in your mind. The ruler is 12 inches long. Is the object you are estimating longer or shorter than the ruler?

Measurement Hint #3

Measurement Challenge

Starting at 3 inches on the ruler, measure 3 inches forward.

Starting at 2 and 1/4 inches on the ruler, measure 1 inch forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 5 and 3/4 inches on the ruler, measure 2 and 1/4 inches forward.

Starting at 8 and 1/2 inches on the ruler, measure 3 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 4 and 1/2 inches on the ruler, measure 2 and 3/4 inches forward.

Starting at 10 inches on the ruler, measure 1 and 1/2 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 6 and 1/2 inches on the ruler, measure 2 and 1/2 inches forward.

Starting at 7 and 3/4 inches on the ruler, measure 1 and 1/2 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 3 inches on the ruler, measure 3 inches forward.

Starting at 2 inches on the ruler, measure 1 and 1/2 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 5 inches on the ruler, measure 2 and 1/2 inches forward.

Starting at 8 and 1/2 inches on the ruler, measure 3 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 4 and 1/2 inches on the ruler, measure 2 and inches forward.

Starting at 10 inches on the ruler, measure 1 and 1/2 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Starting at 6 and inches on the ruler, measure 2 and 1/2 inches forward.

Starting at 7 inches on the ruler, measure 1 and 1/2 inches forward.

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Did you check your measurement from zero??

Estimate the length of a stapler in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 1 inch of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the height of your desk/ table in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 3 inches of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the height of your chair in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 3 inches of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the height of the doorknob from the floor in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 3 inches of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the length of a pencil in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 1 inch of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the length of an eraser in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 1 inch of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the length of your foot in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 2 inches of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Estimate the length of a crayon in inches. Write down your estimate. Now, measure the actual length. If you were within 1 inch of your estimate, you have completed the measurement challenge!

Making a Measuring Wheel

Index

Measuring the length of a straight line is easy; the only equipment necessary is a ruler. Determining the length of curvy lines seems more difficult but can be just as simple with the proper tools. A measuring wheel can trace winding paths to measure their lengths. Construction and use of measuring wheels will be described in this activity.

Materials

1 stiff disposable plate (Styrofoam works better than paper) 1 ruler with a hole near one end 1 brass paper fastener Pen Chalk Measuring tape

What To Do

Make a mark near the edge of the plate, then use the measuring tape to find the circumference of the plate. Write the circumference on the plate. Draw a straight line from the center of the plate to the mark on the outer edge. This will be the starting point for measurements. Additional marks need to be made on the edge to divide the plate into fractions so partial rotations can be measured. Use the pen to poke a small hole through the center of the disposable plate. Line up the hole in the plate with the hole on the end of the ruler and use the paper fastener to attach the plate to the ruler. Draw a curvy line on the sidewalk. Roll the plate in position so that the long line that goes to the center of the plate is touching the beginning point of the line drawn on the sidewalk. Using the ruler as a handle, roll the measuring wheel along the line. Count the number of times that the plate makes a complete revolution by counting the number of times the long line on the plate touches the line on the ground. Include any fraction of a turn it takes to reach the far end of the line. To calculate the length of the curvy line multiply the number of turns (including fractions) the measuring wheel made by the circumference of the wheel. If time permits try carefully placing a string along the mark on the sidewalk and then measure the length of the string. This method can be used to check the accuracy of the measuring wheel.

Questions

1. Why is it important to know how to measure the lengths of curvy lines? 2. What other methods might work for measuring winding paths? 3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a measuring wheel or a string?

Source

â€œBest of Wonder Science.â€? Delmar Publishers, Albany, 1997. ISBN 0-8273-8094-1 ÂŠ S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 1999.

Making a Sextant

Index

A sextant is an instrument used to indirectly measure distances. A measuring tape or meter stick is incapable of measuring the distance to a star. Sextants have been used for centuries to make this sort of indirect measurement. In this activity sextants will be made and used to measure the height of a very tall object, such as a flagpole or a building.

Materials

Protractor Straight plastic drinking straw Tape String Metal washer Metal stick or tape measure Graph paper

What To Do

Tie a piece of string around the washer and tie the other end of the string through the hole in the flat side of the protractor so that the washer hangs from the protractor. The string should be long enough so that when the protractor is held upside down the washer hangs below the curved edge of the protractor by at least an inch. Tape the straw across the middle of the protractor. One end of the straw should cross the hole where the string is tied, and the other end of the straw should cross the curved side at the ninety-degree mark. Equal lengths of the straw should extend past the protractor on both sides. The sextant is ready for use. Decide what object you would like to use for the height measurement. Mark a spot on the ground that is 10 meters away from the object. Ask one student to hold a meter stick upright at the spot 10 meters from the object. At the marked spot hold the sextant just above the meter at a height one meter above the ground, squat down to look through the straw on the curved side of the protractor to sight the top of the object being measured. While looking at the top of the tall object through the straw on the sextant, have a partner record the number on the protractor across which the string hangs. The height of the tall object is determined by making a scale drawing on graph paper. Draw a horizontal line ten squares long across the center of the paper. This represents the ten-meter distance between the object and the location at which the measurement was made. Draw a long vertical line at the left end of the horizontal line to represent the tall object. It should look like a large L.At the right end of the horizontal line draw a line at the same angle that was recorded when the tall object was measured. Use the protractor to measure the angle and draw the line long enough so that it crosses the vertical line on the left. Count the number of squares between the intersections of the horizontal and angled lines. This represents the height of the measured object. Add one more square to your final count of squares along the vertical. Remember the measurement was taken from one meter above the ground.

Questions

1. Why are sextants used to measure the heights of very tall objects? Would any other method be easier? Would it be as safe? 2. Why did the measurement with the sextant have to be made a certain distance from the base of the object being measured? Must that distance be exactly 10 meters, or could it be a longer or shorter distance instead?

3. If the same object was sighted twice, once from five meters and once from ten meters, would the measured angles be equal? If not, how would they differ? 4. If the same object was sighted twice, once from five meters and once from ten meters, would the values obtained for the height of the object be the same?

Summary

Sextants are simple, useful measuring instruments. The height of a very tall object, such as a building, can be determined by making three easy measurements. First, a distance measurement must be made to mark a spot a certain distance from the object being measured (which in this case is ten meters, but could be any distance). The second necessary measurement is a height. The height at which the sextant is held above the ground while the measurement is being made is important because it will be added into the height determined by the graph. Third, an angle must be measured. When the sextant is tilted to see the top of the object through the straw the string, weighted by the washer, still hangs straight down. The number across which the string hangs indicates the angle at which the sextant is tilted. The angle is the angle of elevation that is used in the scale drawing. Once the three measurements have been made, they can be used to determine the height of the object in question. Using the graph paper helps with the scale. In the procedure above, the ten-meter distance away from the object was drawn as a ten-square line. This means that every square on the graph paper stands for one meter in each direction. By drawing the angled line to intersect with the vertical line, the top of the object can be represented by the intersection of the two lines. To draw the angled line, center the straight side of the protractor on the right end of the line. On the curved edge of the protractor, find the number that represents the measured angle, and make a mark. Then use a ruler to draw a line connecting the right end of the horizontal line and the mark made for the angle. Extend this line until it intersects the vertical line on the left. Count the number of squares between the intersections and add the height above the ground at which the measurement was made, and that is the height of the object.

Source

“Best of Wonder Science.” Delmar Publishers, Albany, 1997. ISBN 0-8273-8094-1 “Science for Children: A Book for Teachers.” Willard J. Jacobson and Abbey Barry Bergman, Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs. © S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 1999.

Measurement Certification

Index

Since ancient times measurement has been important in many aspects of life. When early civilizations began trading goods a system of measurement had to be developed to ensure fair trading. Today measurement is required in so many ways that all people must know how to measure accurately. This activity will certify students who have accurately measured certain objects.

Materials

Triple-beam balance Ruler Meter or yard stick Objects of known size and mass Measurement Certification forms for each student

What To Do

Teach students how to use the triple beam balance, and if necessary, the ruler. Have each student weigh an object using the triple beam balance to ensure each student can use the balance to accurately measure mass. Have each student measure the length of an object using the ruler or meter stick. For higher grade levels (4th and 5th) measurements of perimeter could also be used. If a student correctly determines the mass and length (or perimeter) of his or her objects, he or she can be certified as a measurer.

Questions

1. Why is it important to know how to measure? 2. Why do we use certain tools for measuring?

Source

“The Story of Weights and Measures.” Ganeri, Anita. Oxford University Press: New York, 1996. ISBN 0-19521328-9 WOW staff, 2002. © S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 2002.

{name, title}

Granted: Autumn 2002

Measurement

to certify that they have completed to satisfaction

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

is hereby granted to:

WOW SCIENCE Certificate of Completion

Measuring With Rulers

Index

Measurement began in ancient times when people needed a way to keep the trading of goods fair. Early measurement was definitely an improvement from no measurement, but it still had some problems. Often, body parts such as feet were used to make measurements. Not all feet are the same size, so measurements made with peoplesâ€™ feet were not consistent. Eventually a system of standard measurement developed, using constant values. This activity helps students understand why standard units of measurement are needed.

Materials

Crayons (that have been used and have varying sizes) Straws that have been cut to different lengths Paperclips A variety of books Rulers Meter sticks or yard sticks

What To Do

Ask students to use the crayons to measure the width of their desk by laying the crayons end to end and counting the number used to reach from one end of the desk to the other. Ask students to share their measurements with the students in their group. Did they all use have the same number? Should they all have the same number? Ask students to use the pieces of straws to measure the width of their desk Ask students to share their measurements with the students in their group. Did they all use have the same number? Should they all have the same number? Ask them to use paper clips to measure the width of their desk. Did they all use the same number of paper clips? Should they have all used the same number of paperclips? Ask students which method of measuring was the best so far? Why? Ask students to measure the width of their desk using a yardstick or meter stick.Did they all have the same number of inches or centimeters?

Questions

1. Why distance is measured with meter sticks, yardsticks and rulers rather than crayons or peoplesâ€™ feet? 2. What are some other standard units of measure?

Source

WOW staff, 2002. ÂŠ S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 2002.

RICEstimation

Index

Estimation is an important skill because sometimes the scientific tools needed to make measurements are not readily available. This exercise is estimation will also provide practice with important geometric concepts as the volume of various three dimensional shapes are estimated and measured.

Materials

Uncooked rice Large index cards (4” x 6” or 5” x 8”) Tape Geometric volume set (plastic sphere, cube, pyramid, and cone) Measuring cups or beakers

What To Do

Roll an index card length-wise into an open-ended cylinder and tape the edges. Roll an index card width-wise into an open-ended cylinder and tape the edges. Ask students first to guess whether the cylinders have the same volume or different volumes. If different, ask them to guess which one will hold more rice. Ask students to estimate the amount of rice each cylinder will hold. Place one cylinder on top of an index card on the tabletop. Have on student hold the cylinder in place while another fills it with rice. Place one hand under the index card base to the cylinder, then over a measuring cup, remove the index card base so the rice drops into the measuring cup. How much rice did the first cylinder hold? What is its volume? Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the other cylinder. Have students estimate the volumes of other geometric shapes and test the guesses by measuring the amount of rice each shape holds.

Questions

1. Were you surprised by the volumes of the cylinders? 2. How are surface area and volume related?

Extension

The following formulas can be used to calculate the volumes of geometric objects. Ask students to test their calculations by making actual volume measurements. How accurate are the measurements? Volume Volume Volume Volume Volume Volume

of of of of of of

Source

a a a a a a

Cube = length x width x height = lwh Prism = area of end of plate x length = Al Cylinder = π x radius squared x height = πr2h Cone = 1/3 x π x radius squared x height = (πr2h)/3 Pyramid = 1/3 x area of base x height = (Ah)/3 Sphere = 4/3 x π x radius cubed = (4πr3)/3

SciMatKits, Project Discovery “Pocket Reference, Second Edition.” By Thomas J. Glover. Sequoia Publishing, Inc., Littleton: 2000. ISBN 1-885071-00-0 © S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 2002.

Sizing Things Up

Index

Measurement is an important part of life at all ages. Young children can build basic measuring skills with simple ordering and categorization activities.

Materials

Set of objects of varying weight (i.e. film containers filled to have different weights) Set of objects of varying length (i.e. cloth, string, straws, paperclips, pencils, crayons, etc.) Set of objects of varying size (i.e. different sized boxes or balls) Simple two-arm balance Meter Stick Ruler

What To Do

Prepare three stations at tables around the room by laying out the sets of materials in random order. Divide the class into four groups (the fourth group can be stationed anywhere in the room). At each of the stations with materials, ask the students to arrange the objects from lightest to heaviest, from shortest to longest, or from smallest to largest. At the fourth stations ask the students to arrange themselves from shortest to tallest. Work with the students to check their work using the balance, meter stick and ruler. Rotate the groups around the room so each group visits each station. (Before rotating the groups be sure to randomize the order of objects.)

Questions

1. Who is taller, you or your teacher? 2. What is longer, the pencil or your crayons? 3. What is bigger, your desk or your teacher’s desk?

Source

“123 Science: Science Activities for Working with Young Children.” Totline Publications: Torrance, 1993. ISBN 0-911019-62-6 WOW Staff, 2002. © S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 2002.

Index

Supply List Follow the Measurement Road!

Game boards for each student (pre-drawn with â€œpathâ€?) 1 measurement spinner per group Rulers 1 die per group 1 stack of Wild Cards and Challenge Cards per group Pencils or crayons

Making a Measuring Wheel

1 stiff disposable plate (Styrofoam works better than paper) 1 ruler with a hole near one end 1 brass paper fastener Pen Chalk Measuring Tape

Making a Sextant

Protractor Straight plastic drinking straw Tape String Metal washer Metal stick or tape measure Graph paper

Measurment Certification

Triple-beam balance Ruler Meter or yard stick Objects of known size and mass Measurement Certification forms for each student

Measuring With Rulers

Crayons (that have been used and have varying sizes) Straws that have been cut to different lengths Paperclips A variety of books Rulers Meter sticks or yard sticks

Sizing Things Up

Set of objects of varying weight (i.e. film containers filled to have different weights) Set of objects of varying length (i.e. cloth, string, straws, paperclips, pencils, crayons, etc.) Set of objects of varying size (i.e. different sized boxes or balls) Simple two-arm balance Meter Stick Ruler

References

Index

“The Story of Weights and Measures.” Ganeri, Anita. Oxford University Press: New York, 1996. ISBN 0-19-521328-9 “Best of Wonder Science.” Delmar Publishers, Albany, 1997. ISBN 0-8273-8094-1 “Science for Children: A Book for Teachers.” Willard J. Jacobson and Abbey Barry Bergman, Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs. WOW Staff, 2002.

Children’s Literature

Index

“How Tall, How Short, How Faraway.” By David A. Adler, illustrated by Nancy Tobin. Holiday House: New York, 1999. ISBN 0-8234-1375-6. “Mini Math Measuring.” By David Kirkby. Rigby Interactive Library: Crystal Lake, 1996. ISBN 1-57572-004-3. “Size: Many Ways to Measure.” By Michelle Koomen. Bridgestone Books: Mankato, 2001. ISBN 0-7368-0821-3. “Measuring Penny.” By Loreen Leedy, illustrated by the author. Henry Holt and Company: New York, 1997. ISBN 0-8050-5360-3. “Bigger, Better, Best.” By Stuart J. Murphey, illustrated by Marsha Winborne. HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 2002. ISBN 0-06-028918-X. “Racing Around.” By Stuart J. Murphey, illustrated by Mike Reed. HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 2002. ISBN 0-06-028912-0. “Room for Ripley.” By Stuart J. Murphey, illustrated by Sylvie Wickstrom. HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 1999. ISBN 0-06-027620-7. “Super Sand Castle Saturday.” By Stuart J. Murphey, illustrated by Julia Gorton. HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 1999. ISBN 0-06-027612-6. “Fun With Sizes.” By Peter Patilla, illustrated by Kirsty Asher. The Millford Press, Inc.: Brookfield, 1998. ISBN 0-7613-0959-4. “Numbers and Measuring.” By John M. Patten, Jr. The Rourke Corporation, Inc.: Vero Beach, 1996. ISBN 0-86593-434-7. “Tell Me How Far It Is.” By Shirley Willis. Franklin Watts: New York, 1996. ISBN 0-531-15975-2. “Tell Me How Much It Weighs.” By Shirley Willis. Franklin Watts: New York, 1999. ISBN 0-531-15977-9.

Notes

Index

There are currently no notes on this unit. If you have suggestions or changes to make on the experiments or units, please email us! Our address is wow@chemistry. ohio-state.edu. ÂŠ S. Olesik, WOW Project, Ohio State University, 2000.

Copyright ÂŠ 2002-2010 by S.Olesik, Wonders of Our World Project (WOW), the Ohio State University. Permission to make digital or hard copies of portions of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that the copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page in print or the first screen in digital media. Abstracting with credit is permitted.