Estimates, Scale, Powers of Ten

Resources - Herr

Sourcebook for Teaching Science Activity 8.2

Each student in the class will be assigned one or more of the items in table 8.5. In the upper left corner of a standard 8.5”´11” sheet of paper, write in bold type the approximate dimension of your object in scientific notation. For example, if you are assigned the Earth, you will write 108 m. In the upper right corner, identify the object (e.g. the Earth). In the center of the sheet, place a picture of the object. Internet-based image search engines [,] may be useful in acquiring pictures that can be copied or drawn. Below the image, give a brief description of the object. As a class, arrange the photographs around the room from smallest to largest as shown in figure 8.5.

Estimating Mass, Length, Time, Temperature

  • MassNickel = 5.0 grams
  • 220 pound man ≈ 100 kg
  • 1 liter of water = 1 kilogram
  • 2 liter bottle of water = 2 kilograms



  • standard door frame = 2 meters
  • one side of a track = 100 meters
  • one lap of a track = 400 meters
  • 2.5 laps of a track = 1 kilometer


Using the quickwrite, estimate the following. Compare with actual values.

  • length of room
  • width of room
  • height of room
  • length of book
  • volume of pitcher
  • volume of bottle
  • mass of book
  • mass of filled water bottle
  • other objects of your choice