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Session 3 Part A Part B Homework
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Session 3 Materials:

Session 3:

Problem H1



The meter was originally based on the size of the Earth, with the distance from the equator to the North Pole being arbitrarily defined as 10 million m. What is another way to express the distance of 10 million m?


The Earth is not quite spherical, but for practical purposes we can think of Earth as having a circumference of 40 Mm. Thus, originally the meter was considered to be about 1/40,000,000 of Earth's circumference. Use the Web or reference books to find out how a meter is officially defined today.


Problem H2


Match the metric quantities on the left with the approximate lengths/distances on the right:

 1 gigameter

(1 • 109)

 A. distance a fast walker walks in 10 minutes

 1 megameter

(1 •106)

 B. size of an atom

 1 kilometer

(1 •103)

 C. waist height of an average adult

 1 meter

(base unit)

 D. size of bacteria

 1 centimeter

(1 •10-2)

 E. thickness of a dime

 1 millimeter

(1 •10-3)

 F. distance from Atlanta to Miami

 1 micrometer

(1 •10-6)

 G. width of a fingernail

 1 picometer

(1 •10-12)

 H. Earth's distance from Saturn


Problem H3


A nickel is said to weigh 5 g. How much is 1 kg of nickels worth?


Problem H4


Give the approximate mass of the following volumes of water:


6.5 L


30 cm3


18 mL


12 m3


Problem H5


Why might a student be confused by this question: Which is more, 1.87 kg or 1,869 g? Explain.

Suggested Reading:

The article "Do Your Students Measure Up Metrically?" points out some of the challenges of helping students in the United States learn the metric system. Discuss or think about how you might improve instruction on the metric system in your classroom or school.

Taylor, P. Mark; Simms, Ken; Kim, Ok-Kyeong; and Reys, Robert E. (January, 2001). Do Your Students Measure Up Metrically? Teaching Children Mathematics, 282-287.
Reproduced with permission from Teaching Children Mathematics. © 2001 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All rights reserved.

Download PDF File:
Do Your Students Measure Up Metrically?

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