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Stride Ruler

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    The Exploratorium

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Stride Ruler

In this activity, learners use their feet to estimate distances. Learners calculate the distance of one step in centimeters by measuring 10 steps at a time to reduce measurement error. Learners can use their stride ruler to measure the distance between different points on the playground as an extension activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • playground or other paved surface
  • 4 meter sticks
  • masking tape
  • pencil
  • clipboard or book to create a sturdy writing surface


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2010

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


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