The Minnesota State Fair is a fabulous event (Twelve days of fun ending Labor Day!). Rachel and I love the Fair, and we have passed this love along to our children.
Griffin must have been thinking about the wonders of the State Fair as summer slowly (oh, so slowly!) unfolded on our fair state. He asked a question at breakfast one recent morning.
Griffin (eight years old): How tall is the Giant Slide?
Me: Good question. I would guess…40 feet. What’s your guess?
G: 45 feet.
OK. That’s a mistake. We should have written our guesses down privately to avoid influencing each other. Oh well.
Me: Let’s look it up.
Google returns nothing useful. It does return this awesome video, though, which we watch together.
Me: I found lots of information mentioning the Giant Slide, but nothing on its height.
G: Measure it yourself, then!
Me: Good idea. How should we do that?
G: We’re gonna need a lot of tape measures put together.
This will be a summer project for us: Measuring stuff without putting a ruler next to it. I’ll report on our progress in this space.
Oh! it’s such a great idea. I’ve been thinking about math activities for my boys but a project would be so much better!!
Very interested in how this turns out. I used a something like this with my remedial (HS) algebra class to think about proportion & another linear relationship… Set out our 30 foot tape measure and let them see how many steps it took them to walk the distance. We then went out and measured the hallway (250 ft) by walking it. It was a nice non-distance-time relationship to work with – very concrete – great for this group. I was a bit surprised that none of them remembered ever having done something like this. Beyond doubling, proportional reasoning was a struggle for them.
I could imagine doing something like this with my almost-7-year old. For vertical distances I can’t think of a way around using similar triangles… is that where you’re going to go with this for Griffin? Can’t wait to see.
And thanks for the fond memories of the State Fair – used to go before school started up back when I was at Carleton. Mmm… butter sculpture…
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