Measurement Rules

Last chance! This exhibit will be rotating out on May 5th, 2024!

How many chickens do you weigh? How tall are you in apples or inches or pennies? Can you use your foot as a ruler? The answers to these and other questions can be explored at Measurement Rules, an interactive exhibit at the EcoTarium.

It might be common to measure using standard tools such as measuring tapes and vessels – but the Measurement Rules exhibit will explore some nonstandard ones such as balancing scales, odometers, calipers, 3-D imaging and counting “Mississippis.”

You can explore concepts of length, time, volume and weight in a variety of ways:


  • Height Wall – How tall are you in apples or pennies?
  • Treadmill Odometer – Get walking and add to the total yards we’ll calculate visitors walked on our treadmill in the exhibit.
  • Ball Gauges – Tinker with instruments such as calipers, height gauges and go/no-go gauges. Explore all of the possible ways to measure an ordinary wooden ball. Toss the balls down the chutes to test your findings.
  • Giant Tape Measure – Extend a giant tape measure to measure the equally giant fish on our wall mural.
  • Foot Ruler – Fit your foot into the gauge to make your foot a unit of measurement then measure yourself in your “feet” and other people’s “feet.”


  • Five Mississippi – How good is your internal clock? Count to five Mississippi and see how close you come to five actual seconds.
  • Ball Stopwatch – Build your own ball ramp and make it faster or slower with modifications.


  • See Your Volume – Step before the screen and see yourself built from cubic-inch blocks.
  • Bead Table – Little ones can explore volume at an open-ended bead play table.


  • Chicken Scale – Find out how many chickens you weigh.
  • Balance Scale – Finesse the right balance between objects and standard weights on a large balance scale.

Exhibit is included with admission.

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Measurement Rules was created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.