Dropping a Mouse Down a Well

Drawing from Galileo's If I drop a mouse down a (dry) well, it will probably walk away. If I do the same with a polar bear (ok, so think of it as a scaled-up mouse), it will go splat and make a large crater. Galileo knew this (the picture is from his “Two New Sciences“) – it’s very similar to his ‘why giants can’t exist’ proposition.

Now I bet any maths teachers out there are thinking “Yes! That’s exactly how I would teach volume and area scale factors” – but just in case, here’s a selection of useful quotes from pupils in today’s lesson:

“A mouse has more outside than middle; a polar bear has more middle than outside”

“If this big pink cube was the polar bear, it would smash apart when you dropped it”

“Arrrrrr. So 1m³ isn’t the same as 100cm³? That knowledge is worth more than any gold!”

The last is from the one-and-a-half minute play that two of my pupils (abstract randoms, of course…) produced to demonstrate their learning. It was about pirates.

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