Tuesday, 19 February 2013

How Wide is Your Class?

In Year 6 we are currently inquiring into "Who We Are", a unit of inquiry that is giving us lots of room to work with measurement.

Last week we explored "How tall is your class?" Today we decided to think laterally - and see how wide our class is.

What did da Vinci say?

Seen this picture before? It is known as the "Vitruvian Man", drawn by da Vinci based on the work of Vitruvius, a Roman architect. (This picture is fascinating - a quick google gave me enough data to write a separate post - stay tuned!)

Anyway, one of the points of this diagram is to show that the height of a correctly proportioned man is equal to the span of his arms.

Is that true? And would it be true of everyone in our class? And would it be true of the other Year 6 classes?

We already knew how tall we were from our previous investigation.

Time to get inquiring...

So how wide are we?

Using a similar method to last time, we first measured each other individually and added together our measurements.

Then we went outside and lay down on the oval again - I know it looks like the kids are just lying there in the sun but really they are flat out doing some hard maths.

Interestingly we found that the distance from finger tip to finger tip was less than when we lay end to end.

Year 6 working hard again

Total height = 3714cm

Total width = 3686cm

Not a big difference but enough to ask a few questions.

Why are the two numbers different?
Was da Vinci wrong?
Were we wrong/inaccurate?
How would we test our accuracy?
Is there a reasonable margin for error?
Will it change over time?

So many questions!
Where will we go next?

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