Introduction: Clinometer Project

Picture of Clinometer Project

BY: Joseph Schwartz, Jackson Williams, Chip Goldsmith, and Evan Gossett

Step 1: Find Object With an Unknown Height

This object should be taller than yourself. For example, we wanted to find the height of a flagpole

Step 2: Stand on Level Ground With the Object and Measure Its Angle Using a Clinometer

Picture of Stand on Level Ground With the Object and Measure Its Angle Using a Clinometer

Point the scope that is connected to the protractor towards the very top of the object that you want to measure the height of. Let the weighted string hang down freely, crossing the protractor portion of the clinometer. Have a partner read the angle measurement marked by the clinometer. Then subtract the angle read by the clinometer from 90 degrees in order to find the true angle measurement from your eye to the top of the object. Make sure that you are standing far enough away from the object that the protractor can get an angle measurement. For example, our angle measurement was 25 degrees.

Step 3: Measure the Distance From the Clinometer Holder's Feet to the Base of the Object

Picture of Measure the Distance From the Clinometer Holder's Feet to the Base of the Object

Once have determined the angle from your eyes to the top of the object, use a tape measurer to find the distance between the clinometer holder's feet and the object. Record this distance. Our distance was 50.75 ft

Step 4: Find Eye Height

Picture of Find Eye Height

Now, you have to measure your eye height (how far your eye is from the ground). Have your partner measure this with a tape measure. Our measurement was 5.4167 ft

Step 5: Create a Diagram

Picture of Create a Diagram

*Not necessary but helpful (teacher required it so......)

Step 6: Set Up Data in a Right Triangle Formation and Solve for X

Picture of Set Up Data in a Right Triangle Formation and Solve for X

Copy drawing above. ***DO NOT ADD YOUR EYE HEIGHT INTO THE PROBLEM YET...WELL DO THAT IN A SECOND

Your theta measurement is the angle that you measured previously using the clinometer subtracted from 90 degrees. Our's was 25 degrees

Then just use normal trig functions such as tangent which is opposite/hypotenuse.

Step 7: Add Eye Height to X

Picture of Add Eye Height to X

For the purpose of the example my eye height was 5.4167 in. so I added that to x

Step 8: Reflection on the Project

Picture of Reflection on the Project

***part of our project it is not necessary for you guys to do.

We thought that the most fun part of this project was going around campus and actually conducting the experiment. We found it cool that we could find the height of any object on campus easily.

The most challenging part of this experiment ha to be measuring the distance between the observer's feet and the object. The only reason that this was the hardest part of the project is because we had to do this with a 3 ft measuring tape, and most of the distances were MUCH LONGER than 3 ft.

Pictures of the two other objects listed above along with the calculations associated with them.

Comments

Dustin Rogers (author)2016-05-09

The building in the first photo is 1776' tall. :) I've spent the past couple of days on a double decker bus tour of NYC

JosephS163 (author)Dustin Rogers2016-05-11

I took that picture when I went to NYC last summer. It is a really cool city

grayl (author)2016-05-06

Go to your friendly engineering faculty and 'borrow' a 100 'steel tape. Apply the temperature correction and you should get an accurate enough estimate of the distance. In fact, anything should be better than a 3 foot tape.

JosephS163 (author)grayl2016-05-11

I know other devices would have been better to use than the 3ft. measure tape, but it is all we had to use, and it was only a math project, so we didn't make that much of an effort to get the exactly correct measurements.

stringstretcher (author)2016-05-09

lumberjacks do this with a stick and no calculator

wold630 (author)2016-05-06

Thanks for sharing how to do this!

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