The metric system has been developed by the French chemist Lavoisier as a unit of measurement (“The Metric System Units,” n.d.), which can be used for measuring lengths, weights and volumes. The relation of multiples and sub-multiples of metric units are denoted by powers of ten and the unit names are prefixed, with the prefix hector denoting 100; kilo denoting 1000; and mega denoting 1 million. In addition, the prefix deci denotes a tenth of a value; centi denotes a hundredth of a value; and milli denotes a thousandth of a value.
In this laboratory activity, the use of the metric units will be investigated. This has the objective of enabling the students to learn about the metric system, which is the unit of measurement used in most parts of the world. Although the US currently uses the English system of measurement, it is anticipated that the US will eventually shift to the metric system.
Contrary to the English system that uses disparate units of measurement with no evident relation among the various units (“The U.S. Customary System of Measures,” n.d.), the metric system makes use of decimal multiples and prefixes (“Four Advantages,” 2012). In this regard, this activity hypothesizes that unit conversion within the metric system is easier than within the English system.
In this activity, length, weight, and volume measurements will be taken using instruments that are graduated using the metric system. The results will be recorded in tables and some unit conversions will be performed for the length measurements.
It was found that taking and converting measurements using the metric system was easy. As recorded in the tables below, it was found that to convert from meter to centimeter, the meter value must be multiplied by 100 and to convert from meter to millimeter, the meter value must be multiplied by 1000. In addition, to convert from centimeter to millimeter, the centimeter value must be multiplied by 100.
The results were obtained by taking the measurements using instruments such as the metric ruler, meter stick, and the triple beam balance. For the table measurements, only the measurements in the meter unit were taken and their equivalent in centimeter and millimeter were calculated. In the test tube measurement, the measurement was taken only in centimeter and its equivalent in millimeters was calculated.
With the ease of using and remembering the decimal multiples along with the unit prefixes, this activity affirms the hypothesis that unit conversion within the metric system is easier than in the English system.
In particular, conversion from meter to centimeter required the multiplication of the meter value by 100 while the conversion from meter to millimeter required the multiplication of the meter value by 1000. On the other hand, conversion from centimeter to millimeter required the multiplication of the centimeter value by 1000.
With these findings, the student will be able to use what was learned in daily activities such as taking measurements when buying food from the grocery or the market, when taking measurements while cooking, and when working on art or home improvement projects.
Four advantages of the metric system over the American system of measurements? (2012).
Retrieved from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/
The metric system units, definitions and history. (n.d.). Retrieved from
The U.S. customary system of measures. Retrieved from http://www.ndt-