Math Car Racing Track – Measuring Distances the fun way

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What does it mean to measure something? My daughter is currently studying this as part of her Grade-  3 MATH curriculum. So when a bunch of 8 year olds landed at our home, I decided to do a fun activity that they could all enjoy and yet do some MATH study at the same time. The units that we use to measure are most often standard units, which means that they are universally available and are the same size for all who use them. We touched concepts such as – Standard Measurement, Addition, Right angles, Conversion & Distance measurement.

Math Car Racing Track – Measuring Distances the fun way


Learning Outcomes :

  • Measure Length
  • Addition
  • Measure Angles
  • Understanding Scale
  • Conversion of Centimeter to Meters and to Kilometer
  • Calculating Distances – Relative & Shortest path

Materials Required :

  • Washi tapes in different colours – We used 4 shades ( one for each child)
  • White Chart paper
  • Marker – 4 ( one for each child)
  • Scissors – 4 ( one for each child)
  • Scale – We used a plastic scale that showed Centimeters – 4 ( one for each child)
  • Dice – 4 ( one for each child)
  • Cars to race – 4  ( one for each child)

How to Play :

  1. I distributed the tapes among the kids – One for each. Be prepared to resolve any “I-want-this-colour” wars.
  2. Draw a start line & a finish line on the chart paper.
  3. Mark the starting points for each kid at the start line.
  4. Each child now rolls their dice twice. Then  finds the sum of the two numbers and traces their path by measuring out the number (sum) using a scale in Centimeters & washi tape.
  5. On each line segment, they  recorded the sum next to the tape using the marker.
  6. After each line segment, they need to go 90 degrees Left or Right.
  7. Paths twist and turn, but they must be connected. The paths kids create can  intersect with other paths.
  8. When the distance between Finish line is less than or equal to 12, they can connect to finish line.
  9. Once the racing track is ready, Have each kid measure the length of each line segment, The number of segments, The sum total of all line segments  (Relative path)
  10. Also measure the shortest path between start point & end point by drawing a straight line.
  11. The car whose relative track is the shortest is the winner.
  12. Understand scale – 1 :1000 – So if sum total of a path is 78 cm, this is 78000 centi meters = 7800 meters = 7.8 Kilometers

This activity ensured that all 4 kids sat at one place, calculating, marking & sticking for nearly 40 minutes. If you want to speed things up, multiply the numbers instead of adding them.

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This post is part of the A-Z STEM series hosted by Little Bins for Little Hands. Check out more great STEM posts in this series by clicking on the image below.



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