Students become more familiar and proficient at metric unit measurement by examining measurement and predictions concerning indoor tracks (200 m) and outdoor tracks (400 m). This CYBERCHASE activity is motivated by a Cyberchase For Real segment in which Bianca competes in her first track meet, but is not convinced that the staggered distances of the lanes on the indoor track are all the same distance.
Measuring Different Lanes on the Track QuickTime Video
Part I: Learning Activity
1. Read the following to the students: "Have you ever wondered if the staggered start in a track race is fair? Why don't the racers have a single, simple starting line, straight across?"
2. Discuss the question with the students.
3. Tell the students that they will watch a video clip in which this question comes up.
4. Tell the students that they should watch the video, asking themselves the question "How would you measure the track to check if the placement of the starts is fair?"
5. Show the Measuring Different Lanes on the Track QuickTime Video .
6. After watching the video, discuss with the students the size of a meter, relative to the size of a foot or a yard, and the choice of measuring the distance around the track with a trundle wheel. Ask them to discuss the advantages of using a wheeled tool to measure the track length, relative to the ruler and the tape measure.
Part II: Assessment
Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students are asked to estimate the diameter of a trundle wheel, given its circumference.
Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students are asked to estimate the dimensions of a rectangular field that is enclosed in a 400-meter oval track.