Metric System Projects

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Knowledge of the metric system is more critical than ever. The majority of the world uses the metric system, and even the U.S., which has long resisted switching to the metric system, uses it in science labs. You can assign your students fun projects on the metric system to help them remember metric prefixes and units of measurement.

Metric Units

  • Have your students create a collage with pictures of materials that can be used to take metric units of measurement. For instance, they could take a picture of a ruler with centimeters, or a meterstick, to indicate ways of measuring length. For volume, they could bring in pictures of a micropipette, which measures microliters; a beaker, which measures 50 to 500 liters; and smaller droppers, measuring 1/10 of a milliliter. Have your students explain potential applications of each piece of equipment.

Measurement Estimations

  • Have students measure the length and width of the window, door and teacher's desk, in centimeters. Based on these guesses, have them come up with estimates for the length of the room, the width of the room, the height of the ceiling and the volume of the room. As part of a similar type of estimation, have students measure themselves and their body mass, and based on their measurements, have them estimate the volume and mass of various classroom implements.

Economic Advantages

  • Have your financially minded students investigate the economic benefits of using the metric system. For instance, have them research the advantages and disadvantages of the metric system, in relation to U.S. imports and exports. In addition, have them investigate the effects of the metric system on U.S. manufacturing. Then, they should research the extent to which the government enforces the use of the metric system, and take a position on whether the government should use it more or less.

Various Subjects

  • Have students pick a school subject that they enjoy, such as Art or Home Economics, and complete a project on the metric system in relation to that subject. For instance, they could create an art project by putting together a creative poster with information on the metric system, or writing a song about the metric system. They could complete a Home Economics project by converting the units traditionally used in American households to make measurements (cups, ounces) into metric units. Guide them to projects in areas of their interest.

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