Measure the circumference of the earth - contest

I got word of an interesting contest where school children will form teams and attempt to measure the circumference of the Earth using the same method as Eratosthenes used back in ancient times.

Any students from USA, Mexico, and Peru can form these teams, whether homeschooled, after-schooled, public schooled or whatever.

Whether you will participate or not, go see the animation that explains the method Eratosthenes used (in the left sidebar).

This sounds like an exciting opportunity to connect geometry, measuring, and math history in a project!

And here's some more information:

Please help us get the word out on this new, exciting student centered event!

Measure Your World!

Join us this fall as we pilot a new student-centered project where teams from the United States, Chile, and Mexico partner to replicate the technique introduced by Eratosthenes to determine the circumference of the Earth. Around 240 BC, Eratosthenes used trigonometry and knowledge of the angle of elevation of the Sun at noon in Alexandria and in Syene to calculate the size of the Earth. Windows to the Universe, Educared, and CREA are working together to offer school children in the U.S., Chile, and Mexico the opportunity to form partnerships, take local measurements, and collaborate using the Eratosthenes method to Measure Your World.

All of the information necessary to participate in this pilot student project can be found on the Measure Your World Web sites ( and Student teams must have a parent or adult sponsor to participate. At least one of the team members or adult sponsors must be fluent in both English and Spanish. This event is open to all students in the three participating countries and does not have to be affiliated with a formal K-12 school. Home-schooled children and children participating in after-school programs (e.g. the Scouts, 4-H, etc.) are welcome to participate.

In addition to taking the measurements and calculating the circumference of the Earth, student teams will be encouraged to learn more about their partners in the other participating countries. Suggested activities to promote cultural exchange can be found on the Web site.

Registration for the Measure Your World event will be open from August 13 — September 14, 2007. Student teams will be notified of their partners by September 21, 2007. The time period for taking the measurements will be September 29 till October 7, 2007.


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