Measuring Accurately

Measuring accurately is very important in science.  It can make the different between an investigation done well and a bad one.  You can make comparisons and generalisations if the data you have collected is measured accurately. 


The Humble Ruler…..

To measure distance we use a ruler - for short distances.  I don’t recommend you use a ruler to measure the distance between your house and the nearest McDonalds!  You should rather use a measuring wheel if it’s in walking distance or the odometer in your mum’s car….


And another very useful thing about a ruler is that it

will allow you to draw straight lines. 

DID YOU KNOW:  the oldest measuring instrument on record was found in Iraq, and dates back to 2650BC

Measuring Liquids

When you need to measure an exact volume of a liquid you use a measuring cylinder.

Have you ever noticed how liquids seem to creep up the sides of the container they are in?  This is because of a strong attraction (oh lala) between the liquid and the container it’s in and is called a meniscus.


This line is the meniscus.  You must read the volume of the liquid from the bottom of this line

You need to accurately measure volumes of liquids, so you need read the volume from the bottom of the meniscus – you will probably have to bend down to do this.

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All images sourced from unless otherwise stated