Education Technology

Sears Tower vs. Taipei 101

Published on 04/10/2007

Activity Overview

Students will discover the height of several buildings using proportions.

Before the Activity

Students should understand how to use proportions. Before the activity share the following information about the Sears Tower to generate interest and connection to the activity.

  1. The Sears Tower, located in Chicago, is the tallest building in the United States. The high definition television antennae, placed there by helicopter in 2000, make it the world's tallest building by 'tip height'.
  2. Its elevators move at 1600 feet per minute. It has 108 floors. Over 1.5 million people visit the observation deck every year.
  3. The Taipei 101, located in Taiwan currently holds the title for the World's Tallest Building. The building has 101 floors and construction was completed in 2004.
  4. They will discover the height of the Taipei 101 today. (1671 feet) You may want your students to guess the height and give a small prize for the closest guess after students have discovered the height using proportion in the Activity Center.

During the Activity

  1. Open Activity Center
  2. Load Activity Settings- TBallard_Activity_2Bjpg.act
  3. Give students the height of the Sears Tower- 1451 ft.
  4. Let students work together to count the height of the Sears Tower along the y-axis. Send a Quick Poll to get responses. Agree on a height (13 units).
  5. Ask students to set up a proportion to figure out the height of the other buildings near the Sears Tower.
  6. Next, load Activity Settings- TBallard_Activity_2Cjpg.act
  7. Remind students of the height of the Sears Tower. Ask them to count the height of Taipei 101 along the y-axis. Send a Quick Poll to get responses. Agree on a height (15 units).
  8. Ask students to set up a proportion to figure out the height of the Taipei 101.
  9. Keep in mind that the heights will be close, but not exact. Have a discussion with your students about why this is true.
  10. If you asked students to guess the height early, give a small prize to the student who was closest to the height.

After the Activity

Extension:
Ask students to find other buildings taller than the Sears Tower.
Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia - A background picture is included. (TBallard_Activity_2Djpg.act)

Ask students to research the construction completion date for the Sears Tower. (Construction was completed in 1974.)