As the lush green of summer turns to the brilliance of fall, trees seem to grow in their majesty. But how tall is that tree really? And can bending over really be the trick to finding out?
For a fun math activity for kids, try using a bit of trigonometry to make a pretty close estimate of the height of a tree.
What you do:
- Bend over and look through your legs up at the top of a tree.
- Can’t see the top? Move back until you can see the top.
- See the top now? Stand up straight and measure the distance in steps or with a measuring tape.
The distance from where you could see the top of the tree to the base of the trunk is a close estimate to the height of the tree!
By looking through your legs, you look up at approximately a 45˚ angle. At this angle, the distance from the trunk of the tree is equal to distance from the base of the tree to the top.
Have fun with this silly, accurate way of measuring height. Try it with houses, buildings, towers… What else can you measure? Leave a comment below!