An item is hidden inside a box, without opening the box we probe to "see" what is it!
A box, without a lid
A piece of paper and sticky tape
A stick long enough to probe in the box
A secret Item, like a teddy or a mascot.
Colors or colored bands, tape.
Take a big enough box without a lid and place an object inside and put a piece of paper over the box to close it.
Hold it in place with some tape.
Without opening the box, how can we feel or probe whats inside it?
Find a long enough thin enough stick and poke it straight down in the box until it touches something.
Take out the stick and measure the depth, how far down it went, write the number on the paper next to the small hole.
If you prepare the stick with colored bands for different depths then you can just color a circle around the hole.
When you color the areas between the same color holes in that color, starting from inside and working outwards you will have a topographic map of the object.
Can you imagine the object in 3D?
A shoe box a small teddy and a couple of kebab sticks with colored bands on worked fine for us.
Use color bands for younger scouts and measure the depth on a matrix for older scouts.
What is the reference on a map that is similar to this activity?
We also used this in our Stick Night, where it can demonstrate the use of a stave to depth check a pond, without a pond or a stave!
See also at [http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/topo-bear/]