Science Projects for Kids: Measuring

How Tall Is That Tree?

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.                              Find the height of a tree by estimating.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Find the height of a tree by estimating.
2007 Publications International, Ltd.

How tall is that tree? And how can you measure its height if it's really tall? This science project for kids on measuring offers a neat trick to help.

What You'll Need:

  • Tall tree to measure
  • Partner
  • Yardstick or tape measure

Step 1: Use a yardstick to measure a straight line 60 feet away from the tree you want to measure.

Step 2: Have your partner stand there and hold the yardstick straight up with the bottom touching the ground. (A yardstick will work for trees up to about 30 feet tall. For very tall trees, use a metal tape measure instead of a yardstick.)

Step 3: Walk six feet past your partner. (You'll be 66 feet away from the tree.)

Step 4: Lie down with your head very close to the ground at the 66-foot mark.

Step 5: Look up at the tree, and notice where its top comes to on the yardstick.

Step 6: Have your partner mark that spot. (You'll have to guide your partner to make the mark in the right place by saying, "A little lower… a little higher…" until he or she finds the right place.) The height of the tree is about 10 times the height marked on the yardstick. For example, if the mark on the yardstick is at 24 inches, the tree is about 240 inches (20 feet) tall.

Step 7: Calculate your tree's height by multiplying your yardstick measurement by 10.

Go to the next page to make a simple surveying tool and measure the height of a hill.

For more fun science projects you can do with kids, check out: