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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Eleven Plus Questions 01/12/08

Some Eleven Plus children will have travelled extensively this year with their families on holiday. A number will have reached Pisa. I am sure their parents, or even one of the recognised guides, would have recounted to them the story of Galileo dropping round objects of the same material, but with a different mass, to demonstrate that the time of descent was independent of mass.

There is also the tale of two Eleven Plus boys who climbed part way up the tower and started discussing its height. A possible conversation may have been:

“This looks very high. How high are we?”

“I would guess at about twenty five metres.”

“That is rubbish. How do you know?”

“Well look at that house over there. The roof is about ten metres high – and we must be at least twice as high as that.”

“I know. Let us drop a Euro and time it.”

“Well give me the Euro.”

“No, it was your idea. You supply the Euro.”

The Euro was duly dropped and took around two and a half seconds before it landed.”

“How do we work it out?”

“I don’t know. Let’s ask my sister. She does `A’ Level mathematics.”

“Silly, if it takes two and a half seconds then you must have been around thirty metres off the ground.”

“How did you work that out?”

“Don’t you know any thing? Ask Mum and Dad. They will explain it to you. You won’t pass your Eleven Plus until you start speeding up your problems solving.”

(Just a thought … How will the much loved and highly esteemed eleven plus tutor avoid explaining how a coin dropping for two and a half seconds equates to a height of around thirty metres? After all in some areas Speed, Time and Distance are not officially part of the Eleven Plus syllabus.)

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