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Scientific Measurement


The metric system is a method for measuring data used worldwide. It is the common system of measurement used by all scientists. During the lesson, we will research and practicing the elements of the metric system.

You will:

  • Use tools to convert between American Standard and the Metric system.
  • Convert base metric units to smaller and larger metric units.
  • Use tools to estimate of metric measurements.
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation that will show what you have learned about the metric systems use in science.

Join a partner and start. Remember to save your results to the PowerPoint template.

Review the Measurement Rubric. We will use it to assess your results.


To begin, download the lesson presentation Scientific Measurements Template. Complete the cards in the PowerPoint.

An international group coordinates the metric system standards between countries. The measurement system is the International System of Units (SI).

The History of the United States and the Metric System is long—Check it out. You may also want to download the PDF International System of Units for later reference.

NOTE: It is 138 pages. If you print it, you could pay a lot for paper or school output allowance.

SI defines several base units of measure. The base measures of the metric system use regular prefixes.

Base Measures




Derived measures






Fahrenheit Scale

Celsius Scale

The conversion between the American Standard and metric system can be estimated using the following charts.

Conversion Charts:

When you know American Standard units of measures.

When you know Metric units of measures.

Use the Metric Ladder to help with metric conversions between metric measures.


Will you measure up?

Calculate meters

Golden Gate Bridge

From Widipedia--

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening into the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and a part of the south-facing Marin County headlands near the small bay side town of Sausalito, and is at 37° 49′12″N, 122° 28′43″W.

The entire bridge including the approach spans is 1.7 miles long; towers spanning a distance between ("main span") are 4200 feet, and the clearance below the bridge is 220 ft at mean higher high water. Two towers rise 746 feet above the water. A diameter of the main suspension cables is 36 inches.

Given the measure above, convert miles to kilometers, feet to meters, and inches to centimeters.

Measuring volume of a regular shaped object

Volume is the amount of space that something occupies. Calculate the volume of a regular shaped object such as a flower box by using the formula width (W) times height (H) times length (L).

What is the volume of a box 3 meter by 1 meter by 5 meters (W x H x L)? we give Units in Cubic meters (m3)?

Measuring volume of irregular shaped objects

Determine the volume of irregular shaped objects by using a technique called displacement. A beaker has 100 ml of water. If we place a Christmas ornament into the beaker and the water level rises to 110 ml. What is the volume of the ornament?

Measuring mass

What device is used to measure mass?

Measuring weight

What device should be used to measure the weight of a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew?

Calculating density

Use the density found in the ornament above and calculate its density if the mass is 5 kg.

Scientific Measurement Video

Scientific Measurement. United Learning (1993). Retrieved December 4, 2005, from United Streaming:

Done Early...

Make a list of companies that use the metric system. Include pictures and description of their products in your presentation.