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# 85 Metric System Estimation

## Share

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 using common measurement tools, developing reference points, and building proficiency and confidence in working with metric measurements. Because many educators report that students have limited opportunities to gain experience in metric system use, this activity can increase the occasions where SI abilities can be practiced.

### Learning Objectives

The Metric Estimation Game is presented as a model learning activity. At the end of this session, using your notes, you will be able to:

• DEMONSTRATE metric system measurement estimation skills.
• APPLY the metric system of measurement to quantify the length, mass, and volume of everyday household objects at multiple magnitudes.
• SELECT and EMPLOY appropriate length measurement tools.
• DEVELOP quantity benchmarks that facilitate the sensemaking of 1 kilogram, 1 liter, and 1 meter.
• APPROXIMATE measurement scale using at least three metric system prefixes.

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.

### Materials & Supplies

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).

None.

### Minimum Requirements

Successful completion includes participation in all activities and discussions. Session participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance (which does not include participant names or CEUs) by email after the session. Attendance is recorded in the unofficial transcript, which is available in the OWM Contacts System.

### Audience

This session is ideal for K-12 educators and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) professionals and other outreach ambassadors responsible for instructing middle school students on measurement techniques and STEAM careers.

### Registration Fee

There is currently no registration fee for this webinar.

### Instructor

Elizabeth Benham
Phone: (301) 975-3690
Email: elizabeth.benham [at] nist.gov (elizabeth[dot]benham[at]nist[dot]gov)

### Technology Requirements

The webinar will be a live stream, so participants must have a constant connection during the webinar (hard-wired is preferred).  Review these system requirements to verify that MS Teams may be used on your computer, mobile device, or web browser. The performance of MS Teams may be influenced by other factors, such as network connectivity or other device applications.

Operating System (browsing) configurations:

• Windows
• Windows 8.1 and later, 64-bit;
• Mozilla Firefox; and
• Microsoft Edge.
• macOS
• One of the three latest MacOS versions;
• Mozilla Firefox;
• Apple Safari (no calls via Teams possible); and
• Linux
• Operating system: DEB or RPM;
• Desktop environment: GNOME, KDE;
• Mozilla Firefox; and
• Opera.

Web Browsers:

• On computers running Windows, Mac, or Linux, ensure you have the latest release of one of these browsers: