How far is a step?
History
The Roman soldiers used a technique called double-steps. What they did was to start out on their right foot and when they stepped with it a second time that was one step. The counted in groups of 1000 and called it a “mille passus” Latin, which gave us the word mile and the distance of one mile.
Investigative Question
How many steps would it take for you to walk 100 meters?
Materials
science log, pencil, meter tape to measure 100 m, two markers, partner
Procedure
- Pace a marker at what you believe would be a good starting point.
- Measure 100 m and put the second marker.
- Walk to the start and practice taking steps that are equal length and in a comfortable rhythm.
- Walk from the start to the finish, count the steps, and record the result.
- Walk from the finish to the start, count the steps, and record the results.
- Repeat another up and back, count the steps and record the results.
- What is the average for the four trials?
Extensions
- Compare the walk to a slow jog or marathon pace
- Try different types of surfaces (concrete, dirt, short grass, long grass or weeds, rocks)
- Try different slopes (flat, slight slope, up and down hills, steep slope)
Double steps for 100 meters | ||||
---|---|---|---|---|
Walking | Flat paved | flat grass | rolling hills | Other surface |
First count | ||||
Second count | ||||
Third count | ||||
Fourth count | ||||
Average | ||||
Marathon Run | ||||
First count | ||||
Second count | ||||
Third count | ||||
Fourth count | ||||
Average |
Use your data to fill in the following chart:
Distance & pace | flat paved | ______ grass | ______ slope |
---|---|---|---|
WALKING Pace |
|||
50 m | |||
100 m | |||
200 m | |||
400 m (1/4 mile) | |||
500 m | |||
1000 m | |||
MARATHON Pace |
|||
50 m | |||
100 m | |||
200 m | |||
400 m (1/4 mile) | |||
500 m | |||
1000 m |