Grades 6—8

Written by Cary I. Sneider

*NOTE: This unit is out of print. We have made the book available for free download. This is a 3MB PDF file; it requires Acrobat Reader by Adobe to read the file (available for free from Adobe if you don't have it). Some material included in the original publication has been removed to limit file size and facilitate downloading.

A prerequisite to the exciting GEMS unit Experimenting with Model Rockets, this guide introduces the important principle of triangulation (determining location with the use of angles and degrees) and its application in professions from forestry to astronomy.

The guide includes a design for simple cardboard clinometers ("Height-O-Meters"), with which students determine the height of the school flagpole and compare the heights to which styrofoam and rubber balls can be thrown. Students develop skills in predicting, estimating, making and calibrating scientific instruments, measuring in degrees, graphing, calculating, and interpreting data.

"Going Further" activities relate triangulation to the real-life activities of forest rangers and astronomers.

Time: Four 45- to 50-minute sessions plus follow-up suggestions.

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