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published by the WNET
content provider: the National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI)
This 3-day inquiry-based lesson is designed to help students differentiate accuracy and precision through multimedia investigations. Hands-on activities include measuring objects using ancient "cubit" units and tossing foam darts to gather data. Short video lessons raise additional questions and promote understanding. The culminating lesson is a digital activity, during which the students will practice what they have learned by investigating ink chromatography. Assessment and extension activities are also provided.

The National Teacher Training Institute was founded by WNET-TV, New York, to help teachers use video as a meaningful tool in the classroom.

Please note that this resource requires Quicktime.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
General Physics
- Measurement/Units
= Error
= Units and Dimensional Analysis
Other Sciences
- Mathematics
- High School
- Event
= Workshop
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Best practice
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Student Guide
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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© 2001 Educational Broadcasting Corporation, 2006
best practice, measurement, multimedia, multimedia lessons, rounding, science videos, significant digits, significant figures
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 18, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 22, 2013 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 17, 2008

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

9. The Mathematical World

9A. Numbers
  • 9-12: 9A/H3. When calculations are made with measurements, a small error in the measurements may lead to a large error in the results.
  • 9-12: 9A/H4. The effects of uncertainties in measurements on a computed result can be estimated.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation
  • 6-8: 12B/M8. Decide what degree of precision is adequate and round off the result of calculator operations to enough significant figures to reasonably reflect those of the inputs.
  • 9-12: 12B/H1. Use appropriate ratios and proportions, including constant rates, when needed to make calculations for solving real-world problems.
  • 9-12: 12B/H4. Use computer spreadsheet, graphing, and database programs to assist in quantitative analysis of real-world objects and events.
12C. Manipulation and Observation
  • 6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Measurement and the Language of Physics
Unit Title: Applying Measurement in Physics

This 3-day inquiry-based lesson is a great way for students to discover what "accuracy" and "precision" mean in measurement. Fun hands-on activities include measuring objects using ancient "cubit" units and tossing foam darts to gather data. The lesson concludes as students work cooperatively to explore using significant figures. Includes analysis questions and data tables.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(WNET, New York, 2001), WWW Document, (https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html).
NTTI: Significant What? (WNET, New York, 2001), <https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html>.
APA Format
NTTI: Significant What?. (2008, March 17). Retrieved May 22, 2024, from WNET: https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html
Chicago Format
National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI). NTTI: Significant What?. New York: WNET, March 17, 2008. https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html (accessed 22 May 2024).
MLA Format
NTTI: Significant What?. New York: WNET, 2001. 17 Mar. 2008. National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI). 22 May 2024 <https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {NTTI: Significant What?}, Publisher = {WNET}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {22 May 2024}, Month = {March 17, 2008}, Year = {2001} }
Refer Export Format

%T NTTI: Significant What? %D March 17, 2008 %I WNET %C New York %U https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D March 17, 2008 %T NTTI: Significant What? %I WNET %V 2024 %N 22 May 2024 %8 March 17, 2008 %9 text/html %U https://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/significant/index.html

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