Knitting needles in the curriculum

It was a thing when I was in elementary school. If you went to your backyard and started digging, you could dig a hole to China. Apparently, it really was a thing but I never hear about it anymore.

The memory all came rushing back this morning as I was doing my daily wander around what’s new (to me).

The best memory from elementary school was a hands-on demonstration by our Social Studies teacher as to why it wasn’t possible. We had a globe in the classroom and, for some reason, he had a knitting needle. I’ll be honest; as long as I taught, I never had a knitting needle in my classroom. But he did.

So, he brought out the globe so that it was front and centre and we located just where we were. He used the knitting needle to go “straight down” which I still wonder about since going “straight down” on a globe seems to have so many different pictures in my mind.

This morning, I was reading about Floom from withGoogle. It’s purpose is explore the other side of the earth, giving a starting point you determine. So, I downloaded the app and off I was.

As I kind of predicted, I ended up in the Indian Ocean!

I just have to find an explanation for my wife for the hole in the rec room.

Fortunately, you can move your camera around a bit before telling Floom to start digging. The results are displayed on a Google Earth image. I did adjust things with the help of the App and ended up somewhere in Vietnam.

Playing with it and using the tips from Floom about whether I was over land or water was really helpful. When you do find land on the other side, a tap will take you to Google Earth so that you can explore just what you’ve found.

This was definitely more high tech than the knitting needle demonstration. And, of course, as an educator you can see all kinds of application in geography, mathematics, computer science, …

Where will your curiosity take you?

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

3 thoughts on “Knitting needles in the curriculum”

  1. Good morning Doug!

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone use a knitting needle in conjunction with a globe during my career, but I will confess to having really enjoyed discussions related to the physics of falling into a hole through the centre of the earth and having your gravitational potential restored from the kinetic energy developed just as you reach the other side — If you didn’t grab on at the other end, you would fall back through the hole and wind up oscillating back-and-forth. It’s interesting to note that the same principle would apply even if you were to take a journey along a chord rather than a diameter — The challenge is that the crust is pretty thin and so it remains to be seen whether Elon Musk and his Boring company will ever achieve gravity assisted tube travel.

    If we turn to the more traditional uses for a knitting needle, I can share that Lisa Noble (@NobleKnits2) is offering a “knitting for health” session as part of the ECOO spring support series. Interested readers can check out the description using the link below and consider registering for the event which takes place on April 22 from 7-8 pm.
    Less stress with sticks and string


  2. Amazing, Doug! And Gloom might be a great tool for my class to explore. And yes, I do usually have a knitting needle in my classroom (several in fact) . No globe right now, though.


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