# How far is a step?

## History

The Roman soldiers used a technique called double-steps. What they did was to start out on their right foot and when they stepped with it a second time that was one step. The counted in groups of 1000 and called it a “mille passus” Latin, which gave us the word mile and the distance of one mile.

## Investigative Question

How many steps would it take for you to walk 100 meters?

### Materials

science log, pencil, meter tape to measure 100 m, two markers, partner

### Procedure

1. Pace a marker at what you believe would be a good starting point.
2. Measure 100 m and put the second marker.
3. Walk to the start and practice taking steps that are equal length and in a comfortable rhythm.
4. Walk from the start to the finish, count the steps, and record the result.
5. Walk from the finish to the start, count the steps, and record the results.
6. Repeat another up and back, count the steps and record the results.
7. What is the average for the four trials?

### Extensions

• Compare the walk to a slow jog or marathon pace
• Try different types of surfaces (concrete, dirt, short grass, long grass or weeds, rocks)
• Try different slopes (flat, slight slope, up and down hills, steep slope)
Double steps for 100 meters
Walking Flat paved flat grass rolling hills Other surface
First count
Second count
Third count
Fourth count
Average
Marathon Run
First count
Second count
Third count
Fourth count
Average

Use your data to fill in the following chart:

Distance & pace flat paved ______ grass ______ slope

WALKING Pace

50 m
100 m
200 m
400 m (1/4 mile)
500 m
1000 m

MARATHON Pace

50 m
100 m
200 m
400 m (1/4 mile)
500 m
1000 m