Measuring Without any Instruments

12 03 2014

Today in Year 9 we gave the classes the scenario where a helicopter needed one hectare to safely land to pick up an injured bush walker. How could they estimate the area?
We took them our to the oval and lined them up along one side. They all walked out what they thought was 10m. We came behind with a trundle wheel and showed them 10m. They lined up along this 10m Mark and counted their steps back to the starting line.
They then lined up on the perpendicular side having practiced stepping a metre using a metre rule. They again stepped out 10m using 1 m steps. We again used the trundle wheel to show 10m. This time they lined up and counted their running steps back to the start.
They were to to remember both measurements and to compare the difference.
They were told that normal walking steps is the more accurate stepping method over a distance.
They were also told that farmers regularly use this stepping method to estimate when they will finish a paddock so family members can return to assist them in moving into a new paddock with large machinery.

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