When I taught at a charter school in Oklahoma one of my responsibilities was to accompany the middle school students as they went through the
DoD Starbase program. It was a great hands-on learning experience for the students. We went once a week and each time they did activities that sparked their interest in STEM. Our culminating activity was shooting rockets they had made off the tarmac of the Air National Guard base. The
curriculum they use has been updated since then, but in the old version there was an activity where the students were given a drawing of an F-16 with points labeled to measure and draw an image with a 1:2 scale. I have used this activity with my students every year since then.
The students are given instructions to follow so they can keep track of which line segments have been measured and can do them in a logical order. This year with my 8th graders I decided to put them in pairs and give them different scales to work with. I had various sizes of grid paper available for the students to use. (In the past I have taped sheets of graph paper together to make larger pieces.) They drew the images with 1:.5, 1:2, 1:3, and 1:4 scales. Having them complete the project in pairs worked out great as they problem solved together. I would walk around and spot check some of their measurements as they worked because a mistake on even one measurement can throw off the rest of the drawing.
Once the students finish the scale drawing I allow them to design the jet however they would like. To grade the project, I choose several line segments to measure and grade for accuracy.