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Foot and Height

THE FEET CAN MEASURE THE HEIGHT

The bones of the feet can tell a lot about a person. What do feet reveal about a person's height? Forensic anthropologists team up with law enforcers to help solve crimes.

Bones of the feet can reveal an interesting fact about an individual. Let's combine math with forensics to see how.

Activity Create a spreadsheet.

List the individuals name, height, and foot length.

  1. Have some adults remove their shoes and measure their height.
  2. Measure the length of the adult's left foot from the wall to the tip of the big toe.
  3. Examine the numbers. Do you see a pattern?
  4. Divide the length of each person's left foot by his/her height. Multiply the quotient by 100. What do you get? You may also want to use the calculator on a computer for this activity.
The results of your calculations should be about 15, illustrating that the length of a person's foot is approximately 15 percent of his or her height.

Find out the approximate height of each of your classmates by measuring their foot and charting it on a spreadsheet. Use this proporation for your calculations: 15/100 = Length of Foot/x (person's height)

When a forensic scientist has the length of a foot, the forensic scientist will be able to approximate the height of the individual. This works best on a full grown individual for the ratio of body parts is slightly different in growing children.

Download an Excel Spreadsheet template.

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Linda C. Joseph and Linda D. Resch

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