Te Kete Ipurangi
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# investigations

## Measurement Investigations 1

The students will complete a number of practical measuring investigations, with an emphasis on accuracy of measuring and communication of their findings

## Marshmallows

In this unit, students use marshmallows in a range of interesting measurement tasks.  Concepts covered include mass, volume, temperature, time, and area, with the skill of estimation being developed.

## How Can You Measure This?

In this unit students, working in groups of 2 to 4, carry out and report on a series of investigations involving decisions about how to measure something. The four investigations suggested are:

What’s In a Newspaper?
Students calculate what fraction of a newspaper is devoted to news, sport, advertisements and other categories of information.

Are You a Square?
Students determine whether their height is equal to, greater or less than, the distance from end to end of their outstretched arms.

How Far Do You Walk?
Students work out approximately how far they walk in one year.

How Thick Is It?
Students decide how to measure a length that cannot be measured directly – for example the thickness of a wall of their classroom.

In each investigation the students follow the same sequence:

1. Make sure they understand the problem
2. Discuss and decide on three different strategies for tackling the problem
3. Complete a table to assess the merits of each strategy
4. Use the best strategy for conducting the investigation
5. Record their methods and results

## Perplexing Perimeters

In the process of constructing their own “rulers” the students develop a sense of the size of a centimetre and metre.  As the students select the appropriate “ruler” for the tasks they learn to choose that the section of the measuring instrument we are using/making is determined by the exactness of the measurement needed.  In addition this unit reinforces the number skills of students as they calculate the perimeter of objects using centimetres or metres.

## Angles, Parallel Lines, and Polygons

In this unit, students will learn to investigate polygons using an instrument of their own construction. They should be able to prove the general formula for the number of degrees in any polygon (including a triangle). Finally they will investigate an interesting locus problem related to polygons.

## A Preliminary Investigation of Reaction Times

This unit is based on the survey instrument and data used in the Census At School: New Zealand project. The survey and the data are on the website: http://www.censusatschool.org.nz/. In this unit students will become familiar with the site, generate random samples of data, and compare data using box and whisker plots.

## Time Series

In this unit students look at the components of time series. They compare sets of data using displays, use associated vocabulary and determine appropriate statistics. They interpret their results and draw conclusions. From given sets of data and other information they predict population figures.

## Marble Roll

Students make ramps, roll marbles down them, record the distance the marble travels from different starting positions, graph these distances and use them to predict other distances. This practical unit has the students experimenting, measuring, graphing and making statements based on the information they find out.

## Sports Statistics

In this unit students are given the opportunity to investigate the sport of their choice, accessing statistics both through surveys and from the internet, and presenting their findings as graphs created on Excel. This unit is a very open unit allowing students freedom to investigate a sport of their choice. It should be noted that not all sports have a great deal of easily accessible statistical data available. If you are not confident of your ability to find data on any sport, another unit may be more suitable, or you could restrict the choice of sports available.

## Travel to School II

In this unit students investigate the times taken and the distance travelled in coming to school, using a spreadsheet to produce data displays and investigate distributions.  This unit follows on from Travel to School I, which contains a basic introduction to using Excel. If you have not looked at that unit we suggest you begin there.