In this lesson, students learn how to measure the area of the tire footprint on a car and to find air pressure using a tire gauge. Students then find the weight of the car using their fraction multiplication skills.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Estimate weight of a large object
Use a ruler and a tire gauge to take measurements
Collect and record data
Review square units of measure
Calculate area by multiplying fractions
Materials
Strips of poster board
Ruler
Tire gauge
How Much Does a Car Weigh? Activity Sheet
Computer with internet connection
Car
Instructional Plan
In preparation for this lesson, place a car in a safe lcation for the students to measure the tire footprints and pressure. In case of bad weather, find a covered location. Be sure to measure the tire footprint and the pressure (in PSI) of each tire ahead of time, so that you will be able check the accuracy of students' measurements. Also, check the accuracy of your calculation by comparing to it to the weight of the car listed on the sticker inside the driver's door or in the vehicle manual.
By the end of the day, data may change because air has leaked out of the tires while students were using the tire gauge. For safety, check the tires before driving home.

Report from the National Academies. Summary: "The mathematical sciences are part of nearly all aspects of everyday life-the discipline has underpinned such beneficial modern capabilities as Internet search, medical imaging, computer animation, numerical weather predictions, and all types of digital communications. The Mathematical Sciences in 2025 examines the current state of the mathematical sciences and explores the changes needed for the discipline to be in a strong position and able to maximize its contribution to the nation in 2025. It finds the vitality of the discipline excellent and that it contributes in expanding ways to most areas of science and engineering, as well as to the nation as a whole, and recommends that training for future generations of mathematical scientists should be re-assessed in light of the increasingly cross-disciplinary nature of the mathematical sciences. In addition, because of the valuable interplay between ideas and people from all parts of the mathematical sciences, the report emphasizes that universities and the government need to continue to invest in the full spectrum of the mathematical sciences in order for the whole enterprise to continue to flourish long-term."

"a century ago this week. Mathematician Andrey A. Markov delivered a lecture that day to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg on a computational technique now called the Markov chain.
Little noticed in its day, his idea for modeling probability is fundamental to all of present-day science, statistics, and scientific computing. Any attempt to simulate probable events based on vast amounts of data - the weather, a Google search, the behavior of liquids - relies on Markov's idea."