Investigate how this pattern of squares continues. You could
measure lengths, areas and angles.
A game for two or more players that uses a knowledge of measuring
tools. Spin the spinner and identify which jobs can be done with
the measuring tool shown.
This article tells you all about some early ways of measuring as well as methods of measuring tall objects we can still use today. You can even have a go at some yourself!
Published February 2011.
Astronomy, the study of space and its celestial bodies and the
science of the universe in general, was named after the Greek word,
astronomia which means 'star arranging'.
Astronomy grew out of problems that the early civilisations had.
They needed to solve problems relating to time and distance - both
mathematical topics. It was vital to the existence of these people
that they could calculate when to plant seeds and when to harvest
their crops and also to be able to find the locations and distances
to far-off trading places where they could exchange goods and
To ancient peoples watching the sky must have with magical.
Trying to find explanations about the bright sun, which divided
daytime from night-time, rose every morning from one direction, the
east, moved steadily across the sky during the day, and set in a
nearly opposite direction, the west must have been fascinating.
Just as fascinating was the night sky when more than 1000 visible
stars followed a similar course night after night and appeared to
stay in permanent groups that rotated around a fixed point in the
sky, which came to be known as the north pole.
The Sumerians and ancient Greeks were expert astronomers.
Sumarian astronomers liked the sexagesimal system (a system based
on sixty) and they handed down to us the degree as a unit for
measuring angles and 360 (the number of degrees in a full rotation)
was almost the same as the number of days in a year. The
astrolabe is a very ancient
astronomical computer for solving problems relating to time and the
position of the Sun and stars in the sky. Several types of
astrolabes have been made over the centuries. Astrolabes can be
seen in museums and in observatories. A typical old astrolabe was
made of brass and was about 15 cm in diameter, although much larger
and smaller ones were made. Astrolabes show how the sky looks at a
specific place at a given time. This is done by drawing the sky on
the face of the astrolabe and marking it in a way that positions in
the sky are easy to find. To use an astrolabe, you adjust the
moveable parts to a specific date and time.