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Learning Math Home
Measurement Session 3: Measurement Systems
Session 3 Part A Part B Homework
Measurement Site Map
Session 3 Materials:

Session 3, Part A:
Metric System Basics (35 minutes)

In This Part: History | Units and Prefixes | Working With Metric Prefixes

The metric system was introduced in France in the 1790s as a single, universally accepted system of measurement. But it wasn't until 1875 that the multinational Treaty of the Meter was signed (by the United States and other countries), creating two groups: the International Bureau of Weights and Measures and the international General Conference on Weights and Measures. The purpose of these groups was to supervise the use of the metric system in accordance with the latest pertinent scientific developments.

Since then, the Bureau and Conference have recommended improvements in terms of the accuracy and reproducibility of metric units. In fact, by 1960, improvements were so great that a "new" metric system, called the International System of Units (abbreviated SI), was created. The metric system we use today is actually SI. Although there are some discrepancies between the two systems, these differences are slight from a nonscientific perspective; therefore, we will refer to SI as "the metric system."

Let's begin by reviewing the metric system. Note 3

Problem A1


Make a list of some of the facts, relationships, and symbols you recall about the metric system.


Problem A2


Why do you think most countries use the metric system?

Next > Part A (Continued): Units and Prefixes

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