NOVA Online/Pyramids/Scaling the Pyramids/Scale Model

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Scale Model of the Great Pyramid

You can build a model of the Great Pyramid, but first you need to scale it down. To do this, you will need to make the pyramid 3,000 times smaller than it really is! To achieve that, every 30 meters of the pyramid is represented as 1 centimeter on the outline provided.


Once you have printed and assembled your scaled-down model of the Great Pyramid, you can compare it to scaled-down versions of other buildings and objects, including people.


Object

Actual

Height

Scale

Height

(1 cm =

30 m)

Object

to represent

scaled-down

height

Great Pyramid

146.5 m

4.9 cm

paper pyramid

Statue of Liberty

92 m

3 cm

small paper clip

Sears Building

443 m

14.8 cm

ball-point pen

Average person

1.7 m

.05 cm (.5 mm)

grain of salt

Eiffel Tower

300 m

?

?

Leaning

Tower of Pisa

55 m

?

?



Try finding the scale heights for other objects, such as the tallest building in your neighborhood, your home, or your height. To do this, divide the object's height in meters by 30 to get its scale height in centimeters. Then find an object to represent it next to your paper pyramid.


Now it's your turn to scale a pyramid!

We've scaled down the Great Pyramid for you. Now it's up to you to see if you can create scale models of the other two pyramids on the Giza Plateau, Khafre and Menkaure. Here are their actual dimensions:

Khafre

  • Base: 214.5 m (704 ft) on each side

  • Height: 143.5 m (471 ft) tall

  • Angle of Incline: 53 degrees 7' 48"

Menkaure

  • Base: 110 m (345.5 ft) on each side

  • Height: 68.8 m (216 ft) tall

  • Angle of Incline: 51.3 degrees