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Education Metrication

Collage of images: white scales and SI logo on black background; school supplies in backpack; metric tape measures; glass vials/test tubes; blue calculator on lined paper; black scales and SI logo on white background

Tips | Prioritize SI in the Classroom |
National Position Statements | SI Teacher Kits

The Metric Program website has numerous educational materials that can be downloaded and freely reproduced. These resources are helpful to students developing SI intuition, knowledge, and reference points.  Students will find Everyday Estimation and Becoming Familiar with the SI helpful. Learn more…

Tips

SI knowledge, skills, and abilities are critical education elements for measurement science and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Teachers are encouraged to frequently bring the SI into their classrooms. Use these tips for effective implementation:

  1. Teach the SI as a system.
  2. Apply measuring with metric tools.
  3. Practice building proficiency and confidence making measurements.
  4. Develop reference points.
  5. Build estimation skills.
  6. Employ an interdisciplinary approach.
  7. Teach SI all year.
  8. Connect to real life and STEM careers.
  9. Teach non-SI unit conversions only when unit comparisons are required.
  10. Make it fun!

Prioritize SI in the Classroom

Working in a hybrid or dual measurement system environment has a particularly significant impact on the U.S. education sector. Currently, students must achieve fluency in both U.S. customary and SI measurement systems because both systems are currently in use. Teaching two measurement systems causes notable inefficiencies. Researchers estimate that solely teaching the metric system would result in significant education budget savings with savings ranging between $1.603 billion to $2.506 billion U.S. dollars, which has a present discounted value of $53.4 billion to $83.5 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. These potential savings emphasize the current inefficiency of teaching two measurement systems. Prioritizing teaching the SI would yield a financial benefit in addition to easing future transition by familiarizing future workforce and consumers with the metric system.

National Position Statements and Resolutions

Many U.S. professional education organizations endorse teaching the SI, including the following:

SI Teacher Kits

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 [at] nist.gov and include your name, school, subject, grade level, phone number, and U.S. mailing address. The NIST SI Teacher Kit contains a curated collection of instructional measurement resources. Learn More…

Explore Metrication Resources

Disclaimer: Any mention of commercial products within NIST web pages is for information only; it does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST.

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Created July 13, 2022, Updated July 26, 2022