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SI Teacher Kits Available for Educators

January 2013

Attention Teachers! Did you know that you can obtain a free set of metric education resources for use in your classroom? Contact the NIST Metric Program at TheSI@nist.gov and include your name, school, subject, grade level, phone number, and mailing address. The NIST SI Teacher Kit contains a classroom set of metric rulers (NIST SP 376 - a 300 mm ruler), laminated metric conversion cards (NIST SP 365), SI Education CD, and other measurement resources.


NIST LC 1140 – The Metric Pyramid is a helpful study aid that can be easily constructed with yellow cardstock to keep common approximate unit conversion factors for mass, length, area, volume, temperature, and energy close at hand. It’s a great homework helper!

Our website has numerous educational materials that can be downloaded and freely reproduced. These resources are helpful to students as they become familiar with the SI, develop reference points or that innate understanding of how much a quantity is, and learn more about SI basics. Your students may find Everyday Estimation and Becoming Familiar with the SI helpful. In addition, there are several Unit Conversion resources available.

Popular Links

• Education Resources
• Becoming Familiar with the SI
• Everyday Estimation
• Prefixes
• Unit Conversion

Popular Publications

• NIST LC 1140 Metric Pyramid PDF
• NIST SI Diagram PDF
• NIST Museum Length Timeline PDF
• The Scale of Things (Department of Energy) PDF

FAQ: My students are having difficulty using dual measurement unit tools, such as rulers that use both inches and centimeters. They keep mixing up the units! What can I do to improve their learning experience?

One recommended education best practice is to teach the SI by using the SI. Students must build proficiency and confidence working with metric measurements before they can effectively make comparisons with other measurement systems. Use single system measurement tools whenever possible. Using dual unit measuring equipment can confuse learners because it is easy to select and use the wrong scale. When possible, acquire metric measuring devices (meter sticks, kilogram or gram scales, and Celsius thermometers). If dual unit measurement tools are used (e.g., those using U.S. customary units), block the non-metric units from view. For example, use opaque tape, an index card, or paint to cover up inches on a dual unit ruler.

FAQ: How do I get a metric ruler?

Metric rulers are available from many retail vendors, which can be identified by using search terms such as "metric rule," "meter stick," or "metric stick." Printable rulers such as the centimeter Color-square rules, can be color printed on to overhead transparency sheets to make inexpensive metric rulers. You may also be interested in similar printable teaching aids that create a liter cube or a cubic decimeter box, which are easily constructed using cardstock.