Giant Museum: Create a Scale Model

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In this activity, learners will predict the size of a giant scale model of a comb or other rectangular object, then make one. If you tripled the size of a dollar bill, could you sit on it? If you tripled the size of your notebook, could you lie down on it? Learners choose a rectangular object they think they could fit on if it were three times larger. They create a scale model of the object at three times the length and width. As a more challenging variation, they create a scale model ten times larger. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Exhibit, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • rectangular, flat objects (e.g., dollar, stick of gum, post-it note, playing card)
  • Rulers
  • large sheets of paper, if possible, with 1/2” or larger grid squares
  • Pencils, markers, scissors
  • scrap paper


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Variables and Expressions
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
    • Number and Operations
      • Operations
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537