The SI (metric system) is easy to use! Learn everyday SI reference points
Learning the SI (International System of Units, commonly known as the metric system) requires developing just a few reference points - a general indicator you can use to orient yourself. Reference points help build that innate understanding of "how much." The metric system is a complete measurement system made up of 7 base units. Once you are familiar the SI basics you are ready to go! HINT: Learning the SI is not about making unit conversions in your head (this will only slow you down). Check out these resources to learn to "think metric"...
- How Big are Things Cube
- Visualizing the International System of Units (SI)
- Orders of Magnitude - Distance
- The Electromagnetic Spectrum (NASA) PDF
- Metric Scales in Geology:
- Worlds Tallest High-rise Buildings
- Tallest Trees in North America
- Extreme Temperatures in the U.S. (Celsius)
- U.S. State Record Temperatures and Differences (Celsius)
- U.S. Temperature Map
- Seesaw Logic Game
- Challenge your understanding of mass. Interpret balance scales to find the heaviest object!
- Measures Game
- Jack is brilliant at building things, but he is hopeless at measuring. Play this game and help Jack use the correct units of measurement. Practice measuring mass, volume, and length.
View the Universe! Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
- Scale of the Universe
- Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
- NanoKids - Explore (available in Spanish)
- Powers of Ten
- Cell Size and Scale
- Planetary Fact Sheet (NASA)
Nanotechnology - learn about the very small. Discover the scale of things - check out super small natural and man made items from the nano world!
- Scale of Things - Nanometers (chart) - PDF
- The Size of Nanoscale. These examples can help you understand just how small a nanometer is (one-billionth of a meter).
- What is Nanoscale? Try out this activity to see how everyday objects compare to the nanoscale.
- How Small is Nanotechnology? Explore these activities to learn how scientists measure at the nanoscale.
- How Big Is It? is an activity that introduces the nanoscale using the metric system (Stanford University).
- How Big is a ...? This animation compares the relative sizes of cells and organisms.
- Relative Sizes and Detection Devices (Florida State University)
- How Small is Small? Play a game! Can you arrange these objects from smallest to biggest? Sure, it's fun!