Re: tired weight (fwd)

From: Eric Muller (
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 09:39:00 PDT

Hi Kyle,
Thanks for trying this activity.
Sorry you were off on your weight measurement.

I don't know what kind of car you were using in your experiment, but if
your were measuring the weight of a really big car like a big luxury car or
an SUV, 742 pounds was off by less than 20% - which isn't too bad.

This activity is only met to give you an approximation of your vehicle's
weight. We usually land within 5% of the listed weight.

If you try this activity again check the following:
-The paper/cardboard that is placed next to the tires should be really
strong and thin.
-You really need to jam the paper/cardboard as close to the edges of the
tires as possible.
-The smoother the surface the car is on, the better (smooth concrete is the
best - bumping asphalt will really throw your estimate off).
-Check your tire gauge (some cheap gauges can be off enough to cause lots
of error)
-Check to see that your car is empty (extra stuff in your car adds weight.)
-See if the weight on the door is for a car with an empty tank or full tank
(a full tank might add over a hundred pounds to a car's total weight)

Good luck!
-Eric Muller

>Any words of advice for this young scientist who wrote in to Snacktalk?
>Nina Thayer
>Snacktalk Moderator
>Forwarded message:
>> From Sun Apr 2 14:41:04 2000
>> From:
>> Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2000 17:39:07 EDT
>> Subject: tired weight
>> To:
>> I did this experiment twice, using two different tire gauges, and was
>>off by
>> 742 pounds. This was my science experiment for school and I was graded.
>> Even though I proved that my hypothesis was wrong (I said I could figure
>> weight using the snack's information) I was just wondering what I did
>> I followed the directions.
>> Kyle Taylor
>> Madison School of Basics Plus

Eric Muller
Exploratorium Teacher Institute
Science Teacher on Staff
3601 Lyon St.
San Francisco, CA 94123


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