Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

## Examples of measuring equipment and questions

Here are some general ‘prompt’ questions you could ask pupils about pieces of equipment they don’t recognise:

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• Can you see any unit names on it? Or maybe just a letter? What does it stand for? What do we use that to measure?
• Does it look like something you could make electrical measurements with? Could you connect electrical equipment to it?
• Are there any knobs you can turn? What happens when you do that?

You could make this easier for students if you make a table of quantities, units and abbreviations for pupils to refer to, here is an example:

 Quantity being measured Units it is measured in Abbreviation Current amps (amperes) A Mass kilos (kilograms) kg Force newtons N

Another way you could make the task easier is to use a small number of practical examples to make the identification process into more of matching exercise.

For example, if you had, an ammeter, a micrometer and a set of scales, you might provide a piece of leather or plastic, a circuit with a battery and a lamp, and a small object made of wood or metal, you might ask:

Which of these could I use to measure

• the thickness of this piece of plastic?
• the mass of this piece of metal?
• the current flowing through this lamp?

Here are some examples of specific pieces of equipment and questions you could ask about them:

• Micrometer – What things change when you turn the knob? (Hint: look at the scale, and look at what else is moving.)
• Ammeter (or voltmeter) next to a circuit with a lamp and a switch connected to a battery pack –­ What might you use this to measure?
• Force meter – What can you move on this? How do you move it? What do you think it might measure? What units is it marked in/ what letter(s) can you see on the scale? What does it (do they) stand for?
• Voltmeter (connected across a lamp which is connected to a battery pack by a switch) ­– What changes when you close the switch? What is this measuring?
• Top-pan balance or kitchen scales (with an analogue scale) – How can you get this to change the value next to the pointer? What units is it marked in? What do you think it measures?
• Measuring cylinder or measuring jug – How can you use this as accurately as possible (read it at eye level)? Which would be most suitable for measuring 10 ml and why?

Resource 2: Practical Work

Resource 4: Measurement ‘circus’