To wrap up my physical science students' "I can take accurate measurements" skill, I decided to use the "Mini Metric Olympics" from AIMS. The original activity was published in Math + Science: A Solution.
I found this activity online here. The original activity is from 1987 and is hand-lettered. I decided to modify it and update it a bit at the same time.
I created this score sheet for each of my students to fill out:
The original AIMS version had 6 events, but I chose to focus on only 5 events. I deleted the event that required my students to take their shoes off. I have trouble enough keeping my room smelling nice when their shoes are on!
I laminated the instructions for each station:
Here are the details for the five events I chose.
Straw Javelin Throw:
What I absolutely love about these activities is that they were perfectly do-able in my non-science lab classroom. Though, the back counter in my classroom is looking more and more like a science lab!
Instead of marbles, I used these decorative glass pieces from my husband's classroom. He bought them at Dollar Tree to use as counters in activities.
The graduated cylinders I received from the OERB Workshop I attended came in super handy for the left-handed sponge squeeze. I had them squeeze their sponge into the red cup, estimate the volume, then pour the water into the graduated cylinder.
Now, I want to share some photos of my students in action as they completed the five events. We did the right-handed marble grab and the left-handed sponge squeeze in our classroom since that's where the triple beam balances and the graduated cylinders were. The other three events all involved measuring with meter sticks, so we went out into the lobby area of the school to spread out and collect our data.
Thankfully, water cleans up easily!
The best way to describe doing the three measurement events in the lobby would be this: "mass chaos." But, everyone did get their measurements done!
Having run through this activity once, there's another big change I would make to it in the future. The way it is written, a student does an event, estimates the measurement, and then measures the actual value (mass, volume, or distance). I don't want to say my students are not the most honest, but some of them seemed to have almost no error throughout the activity. To keep them more honest in the future, I would like to give them the score tracking sheets and have them make ALL of their estimates before they did anything else. How far do you think you are going to be able to throw a straw? How far do you think you are going to be able to throw a cotton ball? I think this would spice things up a bit, too. The objects this activity uses are pretty hard to throw, but students might not realize that when they are making their estimates!
You can find my edited files for this activity here. The fonts are Wellfleet and Caviar Dreams.