Monday, 19 March 2012

Will an A380 fit on our Pitch?

During a recent Maths Week measuring event, this question was posed to groups of children in our primary school (Y1-6 grouped vertically).  Luckily, days before, the school had been given three beautiful scale Airbus models, so we decided to find out.  
After a short discussion as to how we should work this out, the children measured the plan's dimensions and did the calculations together (the scale of 1:100 made it nice and easy). 
Next, armed with trundle wheels, we braved unusual sub-zero temperatures to measure the pitch.

Interestingly, the groups came up with different answers - counting the clicks of the trundle wheel proved trickier than expected - which in itself brought up questions about accuracy.  7 out of the 8 groups found out that the A380 would fit on the pitch, despite their conflicting original estimates!

We could have completed this activity in the comfort of our classrooms with computer facts and Google Earth at our finger tips, but for this time at least, we solved a problem practically and had some fun at the same time!
Other investigations and questions now await the other models...

Will an A380 fit on your school field or in your playground/school yard?


  1. Dear Pink Mathematics

    You are so lucky to have models of A380 planes. They look very cool. I would have loved to measure a school pitch with a trundle wheel because I haven’t used one of those before in my life.

    We are learning about area and perimeter in maths at the moment. This is very fun to learn about. We also learnt about measurement and we had some fun with that because we got to measure a lot of things in the classroom with things like our pencils, pens, hands, maths scrapbooks and our glue sticks. After that we measured things like the double doors, our desks, the keyboard of the computers and tote trays in things like millimetres, centimetres and meters. We compared the things that we measured with the other things that we measured so basically we measured in standard units and non-standard units and then compared them with each other.

    Have you ever done anything else like that before and what?

    Your Kiwi friend

    Room24 TIS

  2. Hi Arielle,
    It sounds like you had a lot of fun with your measuring, just like we did. In fact we had so much fun that we ended up measuring the classroom and the whole of the school building to make a plan.
    We also had a photo competition where students had to show something being measured in some way at home. We had a range of entries with lots of different objects being measured or being used as measures. There were toy cars, baby brothers, snowmen, pasta, grains of rice, feet, and even pet guinea pigs on some scales! It was great fun. Maybe you could do that in your school?
    Thanks for commenting - we loved hearing about what you do in your class.
    Mrs Patrick, Y6 teacher, IST

  3. Dear Pink Mathematics

    I think that you are lucky to have A380 plane models. I think that it would be fun to measure our school pitch with a trundle wheel, they look like a lot of fun. Recently in maths we have been learning about perimeter and area I have had fun doing the work that our teacher Miss McLeod gave us.

    Hope to keep in touch

    Your blogging buddy
    Room 2, Taradale Intermediate School

  4. Dear Pink Mathematics

    I think it is great that you took on the challenge of measuring the pitch with no computers or technology, in freezing cold temperatures. It is a great idea to measure your school grounds with a trundle wheel.

    We live in Napier, New Zealand and we don’t get snow. How long did it take to measure the pitch?

    Your blogging buddy

    Room 24, Taradale Intermediate, NZ

  5. Hi Jodie and Alexandra,
    Thanks for your comments - from the other side of the world!

    Actually, it didn't take so long to measure the pitch - a couple of chilly minutes - but some students really did find it difficult to count (especially the little ones). The idea is that every turn of the trundle wheel is 1 metre and you know this because it clicks, so you count the clicks to count the metres. Sometimes as they counted, they couldn't hear the 'click'. The answers ranged from 72 metres to 86!
    Mrs Patrick Y6 teacher IST