Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

SI Units Card Deck (SP 1297)

Black and White graphic.  Left side has black images of scales, rulers, SI logo.  Right side has white images on black background of same items.  The middle of image has a gray cirle with EDUCATION in black letters.


Keywords:International System of Units, SI, metric system, defining constant, base, derived, unit, prefix, measurement, team, individual, game, play, collaboration, activity, classroom, STEM, education, meter, kilogram, ampere, kelvin, mole, candela, second, length, mass, electric current, thermodynamic temperature, amount of substance, luminous intensity, time
Audience:Student, parent, educator, general public, academic coordinator, outreach ambassador, formal, informal
Grade Level:3 to Higher Education
Subjects:STEM, mathematics, physical science, chemistry, biology and life sciences, earth science, engineering, environmental science, physics


SI Units Card Deck (SP 1297)
Credit: NIST


SI Units Card Game-NIST Interns enjoy playing SI Units Card Game Find the Match - Prefixes-2023
NIST interns enjoy playing the SI Units Card Deck game “Find the Match – Prefixes.
Credit: NIST

Welcome to the SI Units Card Deck! This interactive educational activity offers a fun way for students to enhance their understanding of the International System of Units (SI), including the Defining Constants, Base Units, Derived Units with Special Names, and Prefixes. With multiple game variations, games may be differentiated for multiple instructional and skill levels.

Play activities, like those within this resource, are an easy way to motivate students to learn, build self-confidence and transfer SI measurement skills to other situations. Familiarity with the elements and structure of the International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system, will prepare students to successfully make measurements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) applications.

Learning Objectives

  • DEMONSTRATE relationships between Defining Constants, Base and Derived Units, and Prefixes.
  • APPLY strategic decision-making during gameplay.
  • COLLABORATE and COMMUNICATE within a team.



  • Digital file (PDF). Activity Includes: 142 cards, blank replacement cards, game instructions, blank game template, and supporting resources. Nine card sets (A to I) are available. Print the appropriate card sets, instructions, and resources based on the classroom game(s) that will be played.




Grade Level

3rd to 5th

6th to 8th

9th +


Defining Constants

3 to 4





Base Units Name

5 to 6





Base Units Symbol

7 to 8





Base Units Quantity

9 to 10





Derived Units Name

11 to 16





Derived Units Symbol

17 to 22





Derived Units Quantity

23 to 28





SI Prefixes

Name & Symbols, Factors (Large)

29 to 32

33 to 36





SI Prefixes

Name & Symbols, Factors (Small)

37 to 40

41 to 44




  • U.S. office size card stock 215.9 mm x 279.4 mm (8.5 in x 11 in).
  • Cutting tools (paper trimmer, paper cutter, or scissors). Cutting instructions are described in the digital file.
  • Binder clips and envelopes. Storage instructions are described in the digital file.


Use caution when handling paper edges and scissors to prevent injury. Keep fingers clear of cutting areas.

Teaching Tips

  • Introduce the elements and structure of the SI prior to undertaking this activity.
  • Encourage students to use the card deck as a “homework helper” and exam study aid. Illustrate how the SI is applied in real-world examples.
  • Game activities divide major elements of the SI measurement system into chunks and reinforce their relationships: 1) defining constants, 2) base units, 3) derived units with special names, and 4) prefixes.
  • This resource may be used by individual students or small teams in both formal and informal learning settings.

Teachers are encouraged to frequently bring the SI into their classrooms! U.S. educators may obtain a free set SI Teacher Kit. Contact the TheSI [at] (Metric Program) at TheSI [at] (TheSI[at]nist[dot]gov) and include your name, school, subject, grade level, phone number, and U.S. mailing address.


  • Find the Match: Prefixes Game. Explore this activity, which is designed to build familiarity with the International System of Units (SI) and provide learners with an opportunity to successfully apply SI prefixes using NIST SP 1297 SI Prefixes decks sets H and I (large and small). The primary objective of this game is to uncover and match cards within the sets. In each round, participants match the corresponding SI prefixes name/symbol card to the factor cards to demonstrate relationships between the SI prefixes, apply strategic decision-making, as well as collaborate and communicate within a team.

Classroom Connections



Created January 10, 2024, Updated June 6, 2024