We measure almost everything. Any time that we want to know how much, how big, how heavy, how strong, how clever … or to compare things, we seem to have created a scale for measuring them.
We measure (or attempt to measure) the strength of earthquakes, the pressure in our tyres, our bra/waist/shoe sizes, temperature, humidity, television and mobile phone signal strength, the brightness of stars, the mass of subatomic particles, the strength of magnets, human intelligence, the length of iron sheeting for roofing, the length of nails and pitch of screws, the amount of electricity and water that we use, the pitch of musical instruments, the skill level of gymnasts and divers … and the list goes on and on and on!
This is a wonderful adventure … learning how people throughout history have invented their own ways of measuring the things they value and the things that they want to control or manage.
Basically, measuring is the art of counting applied to quantities/things that are continuous. In every case, we must invent a scale and have a unit (or standard) against which we compare other things. I hope you enjoy learning about the history of measurement, the units that we use, about limits to our accuracy … and about money, angles, areas, speeds … and so many other things!
Graeme’s approach to explaining maths formulas made it easy for my children to grasp. Graeme had a number of methods by which he could explain each problem, giving the students a clear understanding of how to approach each area of maths. My students came away feeling confident of when, and how to apply each formula to solve the maths problems.
Sarah G (parent, 2011)
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