The International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system, is easy to use and learn when taught using metric tools. The ability to interpret measurement scales, magnitude, and approximate a quantity are essential Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) competencies.
This 1.5 hour session presents The Metric Estimation Game, a fun hands-on activity that helps middle students become familiar with SI measurements by practicing estimation skills. This session is designed to reinforce the use of common measurement tools, developing reference points, and building proficiency and confidence working with metric measurements. Because many educators report that students have limited opportunities to gain experience in metric system use, this activity can be used to increase the occasions where SI abilities can be practiced.
The Metric System Estimation Game is presented as a model learning activity. At the end of this session, using your notes, you will be able to:
Game participants collaborate in small groups to earn points as they become familiar with metric (SI) mass, length, and volume measurement units. Students determine a quantity estimate for each game item, which is compared to a verified value. Multiple measurement methods may be used to verify results. Some estimations are determined using basic math formulas. The SI prefixes milli, centi, and kilo are used. Measurement writing style requirements for unit symbols are applied during the game.
Although this activity is designed for a middle school audience, it can be modified to accommodate elementary or high school learners. Extensions include updating the game board to focus on only one measurement parameter during a game session (e.g., mass, length, or volume). Products identified in this session do not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) nor imply that they are necessarily best for the purpose.
Participants should bring these materials to the online session: Two 500 mL water bottles (full, remove label), one 2 L bottle (empty, from recycling), one plastic produce bag (from recycling), one U.S. nickel coin, one unused colored wax crayon, and a timer (clock or phone displaying seconds).
Successful completion includes participation in all activities and discussions. Session participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance (does not include participant name or CEUs) delivered by email after the session. Attendance is recorded in the unofficial transcript, available in the OWM Contacts System.
This session is ideal for K-12 educators and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) professionals and other outreach ambassadors who have responsibilities for instructing middle school students on measurement techniques and STEAM careers.
The Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) online webinar training fees have been waived and are currently available free of charge. In person Seminar fees have not changed. OWM encourages our community to participate in this professional development opportunity to build and extend their technical skills. For more information on OWM training fees, please click here.
Phone: (301) 975-3690
Email: elizabeth.benham [at] nist.gov
The webinar will be a live stream, so participants must have a constant connection during the webinar (hard-wired is preferred).
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NIST Office of Weights and Measures |
NIST Metric Program