Summary
Continuing the Asteroid Impact challenge, students learn how to determine map distances and areas using map scales. They get a feel for how much an area represents on a map in relation to the sizes they are suggesting for their underground caverns to shelter the Alabraska population.Engineering Connection
Many types of engineers—civil, geological, petroleum, environmental—must fully understand maps, map reading and map creation to assist in the research and planning of engineering design solutions, such as designing roadways and tunnels, drilling for water or fossil fuels, creating dams, and tracking air pollution.
PreReq Knowledge
Some knowledge of length, width, area and volume; multiplication.
Learning Objectives
After this activity, students should be able to:
 Use a map scale to determine distances between cities on a map and the size of areas on a map.
 Compare map areas determined in this activity to areas from a previous activity.
 Relate map areas and lengths to a realworld situation.
More Curriculum Like This
Students apply their knowledge of scales and areas to determine the best locations in Alabraska for the underground caverns. They cut out rectangular paper pieces to represent caverns to scale with the maps and place the cutouts on the maps to determine possible locations.
Students learn to identify the common features of a map. Through the associated activities, students learn how to use a compass to find bearing to an object on a map and in the classroom.
To kickoff the Adventure Engineering Asteroid Impact unit, students learn of the impending asteroid impact scenario, form teams and begin to study the situation in depth. A simple inclass simulation shows them the potential for destruction and disaster. They look at maps and complete a worksheet an...
Educational Standards
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K12 science,
technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN),
a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics;
within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
NGSS: Next Generation Science Standards  Science

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
(Grades 6  8)
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This standard focuses on the following Three Dimensional Learning aspects of NGSS:Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students' own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The planet's systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth's history and will determine its future.Water's movements—both on the land and underground—cause weathering and erosion, which change the land's surface features and create underground formations. Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.
Common Core State Standards  Math

Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multidigit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
(Grade 6)
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Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
(Grade 7)
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International Technology and Engineering Educators Association  Technology

Design and use instruments to gather data.
(Grades 6  8)
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Requirements for design are made up of criteria and constraints.
(Grades 6  8)
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State Standards
Colorado  Math

Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multidigit decimals using standard algorithms for each operation.
(Grade
6)
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Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
(Grade
7)
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Colorado  Science

Develop and communicate an evidence based scientific explanation around one or more factors that change Earth's surface
(Grade
5)
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Analyze and interpret data identifying ways Earth's surface is constantly changing through a variety of processes and forces such as plate tectonics, erosion, deposition, solar influences, climate, and human activity
(Grade
5)
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Gather, analyze, and communicate data that explains Earth's plates, plate motions, and the results of plate motions
(Grade
7)
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Materials List
 rulers, meter sticks, measuring tapes
 calculators
 4 handouts: Scaling the Map Worksheet, Alabraska General Map, Alabraska Geology Map, Reference Page (vocabulary, formulas, unit conversions)
 (optional) a largesized Alabraska General Map, 2 x 3 ft (.6 x 1 m), for display in the classroom; alternatively, use a projector to enlarge and display the map
Introduction/Motivation
Now that your engineering team knows the required cavern area, your task is to translate that information to a map to see how big the cavern is compared to the size of the state of Alabraska.
Procedure
Background
As necessary, refresh students' knowledge on how to use map scales.
Before the Activity
 Gather materials and make copies of the handouts.
 Post (or project) the largesized Alabraska General Map at the front of the classroom.
With the Students
 Hand out the materials to the groups.
 Refamiliarize students with the maps by asking them a few questions, for example: What is the capitol of Alabraska? Where is it located in terms of grid coordinates? What types of transportation are represented in the state of Alabraska?
 Discuss the map scale with students. Lead them through some examples by making map measurements with a ruler and then determining how many miles this represents according to the map scale. For example, if 1 centimeter = 10 kilometers, then 3 cm on the map represents 30 kms in the real world.
 Give the engineering teams time to complete the worksheet. Tips for worksheet questions:
Q1: To put the worksheet answers into perspective, ask students to compare their answers to their own hometoschool distance.
Q2:The grid space area is determined by multiplying length by width.
Q3: Expect students to figure out that they can count grid spaces within the military base and multiply by the area per grid space (Q2 answer).
Q4: This is to give the students perspective.
Q5: Expect students to find that Alabraska is much bigger than the required cavern area.
 As time permits or assign as homework: If students drew plans of their cavern designs at the end of the previous activity, now have them redraw them to scale. An appropriate scale is 1 cm = 1 km.
Worksheets and Attachments
Assessment
Worksheet: Review students' answers on the Scaling the Map Worksheet to gauge their mastery of the subject matter. Refer to the Asteroid Impact Student Workbook Example Answers provided in the unit document for example worksheet answers.
Quiz: To conclude, ask students to estimate distances using a different map. For example, estimate the distance from two cities such as London and Moscow, or the area of a U.S. state. Or have students conduct the Extension Activities.
Homework: If students drew plans of their cavern designs at the end of the previous activity, now assign them redraw them to scale. An appropriate scale is 1 cm = 1 km.
Activity Extensions
 On a map of the U.S., use the scale to determine the area of any state.
 Find the largest country in the world and use the scale to determine its size.
 What are the tallest buildings in the world? For example, the Willis Tower in Chicago is 1,450 feet tall (110 floors). If you were asked to build a model of this skyscraper at a scale of 1 inch = 100 feet, how tall would the model be? (Answer: 14.5 inches tall.) For extra credit, convert English units to metric units (442 meters).
Copyright
© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of MinesSupporting Program
Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of MinesAcknowledgements
Adventure Engineering was supported by National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 9950660 and GK12 0086457. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Last modified: April 3, 2018
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