Metric System

a WebQuest for 7-10 grade Science

Deborah L. Folis

 folisd@ten-nash.ten.k12.tn.us

Introduction | Task | The Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion


Introduction

This project will cover the history of the metric system, symbols, prefixes, and unit conversions. Comparisons can be made by using the history of the U.S. System and the Metric System. Common measurements and units used in Physics are also found in this project. A better understanding of how America can amend the metric system is also covered in this project.

Task

The Process:

Part of your job in this WebQuest is to take on a role of a presenter and propose a sure fire method to converting the United States to the Metric System as opposed to the current U.S. System. You will be working together with a group of students in class. Each group will answer questions that will help them establish a viewpoint based on their group's role. You will also present a plan for the system conversion. As a member of the group you will explore web pages that explain the various issues about the United States converting to the metric system. These sites will provide information that will help you support your role. The third assignment will be to write a letter explaining your perspective and how your plan can be used to make the conversion for the U.S. to the metric system possible.

You'll begin with everyone in your group getting some background information on the history of the metric system, the units, prefixes, and how the metric system would effect your assigned role. You will become knowledgeable on the aspects that pertain to your role in the debate by reading and exploring links to web pages. Then you can present your case to the rest of the class on the debate.

Phase 1 - Background: For everyone

Use the resources that you have access to so that you can explore the history,types of metric systems used,and facts associated with the resistance of converting to the Metric System.

A concise reference guide to the Metric System (SI)ions: history, prefixes, and units used in SI

Melting Pot of information: Metric System: history, modern metric system, and measurements

Physics Tutorial - Measurement & the Metric System: common units used in Physics

Phase 2 - Look at the Roles and their perspectives

Instructions:

1. The WebQuest groups will take on one of the following roles: Commercial Users, General Users, and Scientific Users.

2. Read through each of the files linked to your role. If you print out the files, highlight,the passages that you feel related to your role. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important to your role.

3. Be able to make a generalization of all the information pertinent to your role. Use this information to strengthen your views to present a perspective bases on the information you have gained.

Roles:

Commercial Users: This would include those who manufacture products that are sold in the U.S. as well as overseas. It could be private companies or government agencies. Some examples would be farmers, manufactures, or producers.

Use the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to Commercial Users:

1. Why is it necessary for the USA to change to the metric system?

2. Why can't companies make standard measured products to sell within the USA and make metric measured products to sell outside the united states?

3. Why don't we accept the Metric System as it in now used in other countries?

4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of converting to the Metric System.

5. What would be a plan for converting all of the United States to metric as opposed to standard?

Questions and Answers About the Metric System

The Metric System "Amended" for America

General Users: This role would include those who would use the metric system in everyday activities. Examples are sports events, household users, mechanic, woodworkers, builders, students, or teachers.

1. What are the benefits of converting every measurement to metric instead of a combination of standard and metric?

2. What are some examples of items that are measured in a standard measurement and some items that are measured in a metric measurement, and some items that are measured in both?

3. Why is the government making the metric transition?

4. How can I remember the metric units.

5. What would be a plan for converting all of the United States to metric as opposed to standard?

Monster Chef's Unit Converts: comparisons of U.S. System and Metric System

Go Metric: about the U.S. conversion to metric, associations, and National metric Week

Scientific Users: This role would include those in the areas of research as well as those who are studying in the medical professions.

1. What are the benefits of the U.S. using a total metric system for measurement?

2. How difficult will it be for people to learn the metric system?

3. Why is the federal government making the metric transition?

4. What would be a plan for converting all of the United States to metric as opposed to standard?

Physics Tutorial - Measurement & the Metric System: common units used in Physics

Metric System "Amended" for America: system conversion for America

 

Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

Each WebQuest team has learned about a different role in the metric conversion issue, and has gained information to form their own perspective. Now you will apply your knowledge to create a presentation that will explain your conclusion based on your role's view. Using various forms of technology to present your plan for converting all of the United States to The Metric System. You will need to convince others that this is a necessary improvement from your role's point of view. This plan needs to be complete so that it may be used to build upon a future assignment.

Phase 4 -Real World Feedback

You and your classmates have learned a lot by dividing up into different roles. Now you will write a letter and sent it for real world feedback. Each of you will write a letter that contains opinions, information, and perspectives that you gained. Here's the process:

1. Begin your letter with a statement of who you are and why you are writing your message to your Congressman, Professional Organization, or local government.

2. Give background information that shows you understand the topic of metric conversation. Include some sources.

State The Task/ Questions And Your Conclusion.

3. In your letter, try to include several factors that will support your opinion and plan. Encourage this person or organization to use your plan for support of the conversion.

4. Have your letter proofed and graded Be sure to save a copy of your final letter before sending it out.

Use the following link to look at an example of a letter to a representative:

Example letter

Use these additional resources for any of the assignments in this WebQuest 

Resources:

A concise reference guide to the Metric System (SI)ions: history, prefixes, and units used in SI

Melting Pot of information: Metric System: history, modern metric system, and measurements

Physics Tutorial - Measurement & the Metric System: common units used in Physics

Metric System "Amended" for America: system conversion for America

Teachers. Net Lesson Exchange: The Metric System: one week lesson on metric system

Monster Chef's Unit Converts: comparisons of U.S. System and Metric System

Go Metric: about the U.S. conversion to metric, associations, and National metric Week

Conversions: history, prefixes, questions on various units.

 

Evaluation

The learners will be evaluated by the of rubric assessment. There will be three grades given for this WebQuest activity:

Group Participation
Oral Presentation
Letter Writing

Contribution to effort of the group

Organization and Content

Content and information

Helps organize information

Speaking Skills and Audience Response

Writers Perspective

Cooperated with all members of the group

Creativity, graphics, Materials

Written Presentation

Conclusion

Now that you have developed a plan from the information in this WebQuest, continue to share your plan for a total conversion of the U.S. to the Metric System. By your continued support of this conversion you can help move the U.S. to a modern and systematic method of measurement for the 21st Century.

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