Stories tagged volume

Sep
09
2011

As a physical science teacher, one of my jobs is to teach my students how to measure like scientists. This includes, but of course is not limited to, distance with a ruler and mass with a balance. That is why I like to do a lab with the density blocks very early in the year. You use the rule to measure the length, width, and height of the blocks (in this case they're cubes, but hopefully sometime the Resource House will get some non-cube blocks) to calculate volume. They get practice using the triple beam balance finding mass. Finally they get to calculate density and put the blocks in order by density. A fun and engaging way to learn about the importance of measurement. Oh yeah, it's totally free too (thanks Resource House).

Found on the NYTimes Dot Earth blog, this little video uses

"...software tools from the gaming world to illustrate what a low-end estimate of the volume of oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico seabed looks like if displayed as stacked barrels."

(25,000 barrels is now the low estimate of how much oil is spilling into the Gulf of Mexico from the ruined Deepwater Horizon wellhead every day.)

I was intrigued, but the lack of scale bugs me. 25,000 barrels obviously makes a big pile, but just how big is big?