In this Explorer lesson students find the height of a hill using a variant of the centuries old method of "leveling"
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Author: Bruce Limberg, Jefferson Middle School, Jamestown, NY
Purpose: To find the height of a hill using a hand held level
Objectives: The students will:
- Find the height of a hill using a hand-held level.
- 2. Understand the concept pf leveling.
Materials: Small level, plastic straw, duct tape
Finding the height of a hill has long been an effort of surveyors. The method of "leveling" used in this activity is esentially the same method that has been used for hundreds of years. The only major difference is that the level is supported by a tripod and the straw is replaced by a small telescope. Modern methods use a portable laser in place of the telescope but the method is essentially the same.
Procedure: See diagram.
- Have students devise a method of finding the height of the hill starting at the top and "leveling" down.
- Have the students devise a method for making the tops of 4 cones, which are placed at the 4 corners of a larger rectangle, so that they are all at the same level. This process is used when installing a swimming pool or getting the suspended ceiling in a room level.
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