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Measuring Things

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Author: Judee Shipman

Measurements determine quantities. A ruler measure distance. A scale measures weight. A clock measures time. Qualitative measurements are also useful, determining intangibles like color brightness, mental health or human preferences. For qualitative measurements, the result must somehow be converted to a number, or quantity. This is often done by asking questions that begin with, “On a scale of one to ten...”  This project invites you to design your own measurement system.

Problem:

Devise a new measurement system.

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access 
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).

Procedure:

  1. Design a new or improved measurement system.
  2. Demonstrate your new system by measuring something that could not previously be measured. For example, the monetary value of a “priceless” artifact.
  3. Include photos, diagrams, models and demonstrations in your science fair display.
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