Galatians 6:9

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Colossians 1:10

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10

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We're in the business of raising autonomous adults NOT children here!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Making An Astrolabe and Learning Some Trigonometry

Today Yahaira and I worked on earning some of here patches on diy.org. She needed to do one more project to earn her Astronomer patch. We decided to make and astrolabe. I had never made, nor used one, before. I must say, it was a lot of fun to learn how to use it alongside Yahaira! I got the template here. I don't have a printer, so I just traced the thing right off of my computer screen. We then cut it out and glued it to some cardboard. With no tape, we McGuivered it and used Band-Aids. No string, no problem! Mint floss does the trick. We took a heart charm that is missing the necklace and used that as the weight. We had a leftover straw from  smoothie we had the other day, so this was a definite up-cycle craft too!

Yahaira chose to measure this light pole right outside our apartment.


To use the astrolabe, you look through the straw at the top of the object you wish to measure. Record the degree that the string dangles at (28 degrees).

We didn't know how far away from the light pole we were, so we flipped the astrolabe over and looked through the straw where the object and ground met. We recorded the angle measurement (10 degrees).

Then it was back inside to figure out how these angle measurements would tell us how far away we were and how tall the light pole was!


I wrote out the steps for Yahaira, so she'll be able to put it in her binder and refer back to it any time she wants. We had to learn about some trigonometry to understand this, since we had to use tangents to get the height and distance measurements.



Here is the video she used for her project submission. 
video

How to Use an Astrolabe:
  1. Determine (or estimate) the height of your eye-level. Yahaira's was about 4 inches less than her total height.
  2. Determine if you need to find out the distance from the object as well as the height of the object. *If you need to find the distance from the object do step 3, if not, skip to step 4.*
  3. WITH THE STRING HOLE CLOSEST TO YOUR FACE, look through the straw at where the object and ground meet; record the angle that the string is hanging at.
  4. WITH THE STRING HOLE CLOSEST FARTHEST FROM YOUR FACE (this requires the astrolabe to be looked through the opposite end that was used in step 3), look through the straw at the top of the object being measured; record the angle that the string is hanging at.
  5. Now that you have the angle measurements, find the tangents of each angle (make sure you use degrees and NOT radians to calculate the tangents). *There are plenty of free tangent calculators on the internet.*
  6. To find the distance from the object (which you need to know to find the object height), divide your eye-level height by the tangent of your angle from step #3 (make sure it's the correct tangent from step#5).
  7. To find the height of the object, multiply your answer from step #6 (or your known distance from  object) by the tangent of your angle from step #4 (make sure it's the correct tangent from step #5) then add this to your eye-level height.
*Make sure you keep everything in inches (or centimeters) and then when you get to the final answer in step #7, divide it by 12 to obtain your answer in feet (or divide the centimeters by 100 to get meters).
Enjoy your learning adventure and let me know how it works out for you in the comments below!

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