Angles, Lines and Sides

Date December 2005
Teacher Stephanie Reynolds

Students created clinometers, a device used to calculate angles of elevation, out of an empty toilet paper roll, a weighted string and a plastic protractor.  Students then selected an item that they could actually measure with a measuring tape.  Using their clinometer, they measured the angle of elevation from eye level to the top of the object.  By also measuring the distance they were standing from the object and the height of their eye level, students were able to calculate the height of the object.  They then compared their calculation to the actual measurement. 
Students then moved on the “measuring” items that would be very difficult to measure manually.  For example, some students measured the height of trees in front of the school.  Others measured the height of a street light.  Another group measured the school sign.
In the future, I will have students measure specific items and compare their measurements with other group’s measurements.