Learning resources for Measure Island

Archimedes ChallengeMeasure Island takes students on an adventure through a long-lost city, dotted with statues and monuments, hidden in the jungle. Join Archy and his dog Cubit and explore measurement challenges along the way.

Measure Island's 24 exhibits cover some unusual forms of measurement as well as measurements that we use every day without a second thought!

Try some 'mind reading' by measuring physiological responses, examine whether a crown is made of gold and peek into the world of metrology where scientists deal with a myriad of measurements such as time, length, mass, capacity and volume. Also challenge your understanding of accuracy and precision and how humans can measure and 'tell' time using different clocks, their brain or a tree.

  • Why does the crown and gold bar appear to be equally balanced (and equal mass) in mid-air, but unbalanced underwater?
  • Compare the two clocks. Can you work out how long a school day would last in decimal time? What decimal time would you have dinner?
  • How does the radar gun detect and calculate the speed of your thrown ball? Where have you seen radar guns being used?
  • Which material feels warmer to the touch? Which material feels cooler to the touch? How do these materials compare in temperature?

Measure Island’s topics try to widen the scope of students’ views about measurements as well as make measuring adventurous and fun. Students will leave the exhibition thinking that there is a lot more to measuring than previously thought!

This exhibition is targeted at students aged 8 to 14 years, but can be enjoyed by all year levels. There are two exhibits specifically aimed at students under the age of 6 years.

Main topics

Measure Island’s topics cover:

  • What makes a good measurement? Accuracy vs precision, repeating measurements, standard units, defining measurements, subjective vs objective measurements.
  • Why do some of our measurement systems exist? For example, why do we divide our day into 24 hours, when we use decimals for almost everything else
  • What are some of the measurement techniques that scientists use? How do they benefit us? Students learn about tag and recapture and stress measurement in engineering, as well as some uses of biological measurements.
  • What kind of research is being conducted in the field of metrology?

Worth the WaitSetting the Scene

Students will be greeted by a character named Archy and his dog Cubit. As they work through the exhibits, they follow Archy and Cubit’s adventures by reading the comic-style graphic panels. Together, Archy and Cubit explain the science behind each exhibit. The rich jungle-themed setwork pulls the students into the exhibition and most importantly makes measurement fun.

Education Resources



Extensive education materials have been developed for this exhibition. These include Teacher Notes (PDF) with focus questions, Curriculum Links, detailed web pages about each exhibit and three experiments for pre or post a visit. Exhibit web pages include:

  • How the exhibit works
  • Things to try or ask around the exhibit
  • Background Science for the exhibit
  • Finding the Science in Your World

Teachers may copy any material for educational purposes.

Curriculum links

This exhibition supports the Australian Mathematics and Science Curriculum (particularly Science Inquiry Skills). Direct links to the curriculum exist for Measurement and Geometry (Year 2, 3, 4, 5, 7), Statistics and Probability (Year 6), Physical Sciences (Year 3, 5, 9) and Chemical Sciences (Year 4, 5). Maths and Science links are listed under each exhibit in the exhibit descriptions and more detailed curriculum links (123 KB) pdf document icon are found online.

Visiting as a group

Schools and Groups will have 40 minutes in this exhibition, as part of their 2 hour Sciencentre visit.

 

Measure Island. Developed by Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, Canberra.