# The Metric System and Simple Metric Conversions

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The Metric System and Simple Metric Conversions
8th Grade Earth and Space Science Mrs. Liberatore

Why Use the Metric System?
Scientists need to understand each other. Creates a consistent form of measurement. Everywhere in the world (except the U.S.) uses the metric system.

The Metric System Also called the “SI System” – International System of Units Based on 10’s Prefixes change the size of the unit There is a base unit for each type of measurement.

Base Units and Important Prefixes
Length – meters (m) Area – square meters (m2) Mass – grams (g) Weight – Newtons (N) Liquid volume – liters (L) Density – grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3) or grams per milliliter (g/mL) Time – seconds (s) Temperature – Celsius (C) or Kelvin (K) Prefixes: Kilo (K) – x1000 Centi (c) – x 0.01 or 1/100 Milli (m) – x or 1/1000 See the “Metric Toolbox” or Page 15 of your textbook for more

Factor Label Method Write what you know on the left
Write what you want on the right Put a conversion factor in the middle Cancel units on top and bottom Multiply top and divide bottom (Or – move decimal to right if on top move decimal to left if on bottom )

Let’s Do an Example! How many cm are in 2.75 m?

Do These On Your Own: How many cm in 2.4 m? How many mg in 65.5 cg?

The Ladder Strategy You can also convert between units by moving the decimal point. Warning! This will work when you are converting between two of the same measurements but not when you are converting between two different measurements!

Let’s Practice!

Measuring Distance SI unit of length is the meter
A meter stick is 1 m long. The numbered lines are cm; the very small lines are mm. mm cm

Measuring Mass Digital balances will be used to measure mass.
It will be in either grams or kilograms.

Measuring Volume Beakers, flasks, and graduated cylinders are marked in mL. Measure from the bottom upward and estimate when necessary.

Lab Safety Concerns Walk carefully around the room
Handle all equipment with care Patiently wait your turn at stations If lab equipment breaks – notify Mrs. Liberatore immediately! DO NOT TOUCH BROKEN EQUIPMENT. Meter sticks ≠ Swords, Light Sabers, etc….