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SI Education & Training

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The International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system, is the international standard for measurement. SI use in product design, manufacturing, marketing, and labeling is essential for United States industry's success in the global marketplace. SI measurement system familiarity and fluency must be developed along the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) career pipeline to produce an U.S. engineering workforce with this essential 21st century skill.

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Become familiar with SI units, develop measurement quantity reference points, and learn more about SI basics!  Teachers are encouraged to explore and use these materials to support their STEAM curriculum and classroom measurement science.



  • Education Resources on the Metric System (SI) – A curated collection of resources to enrich classroom curriculum and reinforce student learning, including these Top 10 Tips for Teaching the Metric System.
  • SI Teacher Kits Available for Educators – Obtain a free set of metric education resources for your classroom.
  • SI Basics – Learn more about the 7 base units that define 22 derived units with special names and symbols.
    • SI Units Card Deck (SP 1297) – This hands-on activity offers a fun way to enhance understanding of the International System of Units, including the defining constants, base units, derived units with special names, and prefixes. With multiple game variations, such as Find the Match: Prefixes, card games may be differentiated for multiple instructional and skill levels.
    • Teaching the SI – Curated resources for teaching the “new” SI.
  • Prefixes Learn how to use common SI prefixes and the relationship with place value.
  • Everyday Estimation – Estimation is more than taking a guess. Approximation skills help interpret the world around us. Estimation skills are key to sensemaking and checking for reasonableness of a measurement result.   
  • Becoming Familiar with the SI – The SI is easy to use! Learn everyday SI reference points.
  • Everyday with Metric.
    • Metric in Sports SI measurements are used on everything from keeping accurate event times, the correct pressure of sports balls, and measuring competition distances.
    • Cooking with Metric – Have fun learning practical applications of metric measurements in your home kitchen. Completing a metric recipe is an opportunity to apply culinary math and enjoy the delicious results. Resources include recipe card set (SP 1290) and video series.
  • Communication Resources for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM).
    • Writing with SI (Metric) Units – Find quick answers to SI questions that arise while writing and reviewing technical documents.
    • NIST SP 1265 Sketchnoting Science: How to Make Sketchnotes from Technical Content (PDF).
  • National Metric Week (NIST)Join communities across the country raising awareness about the Metric System and the benefits of its use in everyday life. National Metric Week occurs annually during the week containing the tenth day of the tenth month (10 October).
  • NIST Metric Trivia Quiz – How much do you know about the metric system (SI)? Try the NIST Metric Trivia Quiz online or use the Alexa skill to test your knowledge and be on your way to thinking metric.
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Looking for opportunities to expand your International System of Units (SI) subject-matter knowledge and skills? Ongoing opportunities throughout the year are available to fit your schedule. Explore technical training and professional development opportunities offered by the NIST Metric Program.   Ideal for pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and other professionals.


​ Graphic image of books with SI image and words Metric System Occupational Workbooks Credit: NIST [Click and drag to move] ​
Credit: NIST

Leader's Guide for Conducting a Metric Usage Seminar (PDF) – This document was created by the U.S. Metric Board with the purpose of providing background and tools to conduct a metric usage seminar based on hands-on learning opportunities for the participants. The seminar consists of background on the metric system, learning metric terms, and practicing making metric measurements. The exercises are designed to help people  learn to "think metric" in their daily lives. 


Created May 11, 2016, Updated January 16, 2024