Exploratorium
Height Site
Making Your Inclinometer
 

Here’s how to make a tool that you can use to measure how tall something is—or how high a rocket or kite flies.

What Do I Need?

   
Copies of Protractor for Inclinometer
Scissors
Clear tape
A 3" x 5" card
A hole punch
50 cm of string
A washer or other small weight with a hole in it
A sheet of 8 1/2 " x 11" paper (you can use paper from the recycling bin)
   


What Do I Do?
Step 1
Print out a protractor. Cut very carefully on the straight line on one edge of the protractor. Protractor for Inclinometers

Step 2
Tape the protractor to the 3" x 5" card so that the straight side of the protractor matches up with the long side of the card.

Step 3
Use the hole punch to punch a hole through the circle on the protractor.

Step 4
Push one end of the string through the hole and through the washer. Tie the two ends of the string together making a loop on which the washer can slide freely.Inclinometer

Step 5
Roll a sheet of paper into a cylinder that’s 8 1/2" long and about 1 inch across. Put tape on the seam so the paper stays rolled, then tape this cylinder to the card along the straight edge of the protractor. One end of the cylinder should line up with the edge of the card.




Using Your Inclinometer

 


For tips on how to use this trick with a class or group, go to the Teacher/Leader
version
.
 
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