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Introduction | Writeup Directions | Sample Investigation

Estimating the size of a building Estimating Size:
One quick way of figuring out the approximate size of your Local Wonder is to estimate it using the squint measuring technique. This method works for estimating simple measurements like the height of a building or the length of a bridge.
  • Measure a friend's height.
  • Have your friend stand next to the structure (while you stand a little distance away (across the street, for instance).
  • Close one eye and "measure" your friend from head to toe with your fingers. Then, without changing the distance between your fingers, "stack" your friend's height (for a skyscraper or building) until you reach the top of the structure. Or, for a bridge, turn your fingers sideways without changing the distance between them, then "line up" that distance from one end of the bridge to the other.
  • Multiply the number of times you "stacked" or "lined up" your friend's height to find the total height or length of the structure.
Using Local Resources:
There are many resources for finding out the size of and other information about a structure:
  • Ask the reference librarian at your local library for help. Many libraries have books or pamphlets about the history of the community, including information on different structures.
  • Most buildings and some other structures have a facilities manager or a physical plant manager. This person may have information about the size of the structure and other interesting facts and figures.
  • Call your town or city planning department, department of public works, engineering department, chamber of commerce, or building inspector's office, or your state Department of Environmental Protection for information about specific structures.

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