Finding Elevation

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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:

  1. Find the height of a hill using a hand-held level.
  2. 2. Understand the concept pf leveling.

Materials: Small level, plastic straw, duct tape


Procedure: See diagram.


  1. Have students devise a method of finding the height of the hill starting at the top and "leveling" down.

  2. 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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