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, and Mathematics (STEM) career pipeline to produce an U.S. engineering workforce with this essential 21st century skill.
This collection of resources can be used to enrich classroom curriculum and reinforce student learning. These resources are helpful to students as they become familiar with the metric system and learn more about SI basics. This site has numerous educational materials published by NIST that can be downloaded and freely reproduced. Contact the NIST Metric Program regarding handouts available in bulk so that each student can receive a copy, such as NIST SP 365 (a laminated Metric Conversion Card, which has an 8 cm rule on one edge).
FAQ: How do I get a metric ruler?
Metric rulers are available from many retail vendors, which can be identified by using search terms such as "metric rule," "meter stick," or "metric stick." Printable rulers such as the centimeter Color-square rules, can be color printed on to overhead transparency sheets to make inexpensive metric rulers. You may also be interested in similar printable teaching aids that create a liter cube or a cubic decimeter box, which are easily constructed using cardstock.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) - July 2015 - PDF
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) - Jan, 1999
Metric system (SI) knowledge, skills, and abilities are critical education element and measurement science is essential for Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Learn more about U.S. professional education organization position on teaching the SI.
NIST Metric Pyramid - LC 1140 - PDF
Learning the SI? Keep common SI symbols and conversion factors on your desk. Using card stock paper, print out the easy to construct three-dimensional NIST metric pyramid! The pyramid has a list of the metric symbols, and conversion factors for area, temperature, length, and mass.(Great for students and teachers alike)
A sheet of printable activity cards that the children can imprint with their name, height, and weight in metric units. (Print off a master copy on A4 paper to replicate as needed. Cut the cards apart at the indicated crop lines.)
A sheet of printable ruled bookmarks with visual references to metric measurement units. (Print off two master copies on A4 paper to replicate as needed, photo copy them back-to-back, and cut them at the indicated crop lines.)
Presidents' Day is a national holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February and is as a day where all U.S. presidents are remembered and honored. Enjoy the holiday by exploring these measurement education resources. Read More.
League of SI Superheroes
This comic book-style video animation series has been developed to help middle school students learn about the 7 SI base measurement units. Videos are available on the NIST YouTube Channel.
- Episode 1: Desperate Measures! The SI Superheroes use the power of measurement to help a stranded soccer player get home.
- Episode 2: Running Out of Time! The SI Superheroes battle archvillain Major Uncertainty in a race to keep the world's satellite navigation system "on time."
- Episode 3: Mass Hysteria! The nefarious Major Uncertainty has kidnapped Monsieur Kilogram, putting the world’s measurements of mass in jeopardy.
Nano IQ Quiz
Take this quick quiz developed by the National Science and Technology Council to determine your nanotechnology knowledge.
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.
This site goes beyond the standard definitions of units. The site has good depth on the use of metric unit prefixes, how to write them, and symbols and abbreviations. There is also a history of U.S. measurement and information on other measurement units.
Measurements are essential to ensuring fairness in sports. SI measurements are used on everything from keeping accurate event times, the correct pressure of sports balls, and measuring competition distances. Learn how measurement plays a big part in providing a level playing field for all athletes.
A two-week workshop for middle school science and math teachers featuring hands-on activities, lectures, tours, and visits with NIST scientists and engineers in their laboratories.