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Interactives --  British and Metric Conversions

About this Interactive

Introduction | Goals | How to Use This Site | Credits


British and Metrics Conversions is an interactive Web site where students can learn how to convert measurements between the metric system and the English (sometimes called British) system, which is commonly used in the United States.

In the first section, "Symbols," students will learn about the tools used to measure mass, volume, length, and temperature and the symbols used to express them. In "Metric Units," students will learn to convert from British to metric units, and in "English Units," students will discover how to convert them back to metric again. The next four sections focus on specific issues related to length, mass, volume, and temperature. The final section will test students' conversion skills.


The goal of this interactive is to provide educators and students with strategies, content, and activities that can enhance and improve students' understanding of various systems of measurement.

According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, grade 6-8 students should be able to:

  • Understand both metric and customary systems of measurement.
  • Understand relationships among units and convert from one unit to another within the same system.
In addition to these goals, students in grades 9-12 should be able to:

  • Make decisions about units and scales that are appropriate for problem situations involving measurement.
With these expectations in mind, the specific goals of British and Metric Conversions are for students to be able to:

  • Learn the units, symbols, and scales used in both British and metric measurement.

    Students will have numerous opportunities to either learn or review the units, symbols, and scales used in British and metric measurement and to compare the two systems. The student will understand the technical implications of measuring mass, volume, length, and temperature in either system.
  • Learn to convert metric units.

    Students will learn how to convert metric units from one unit to another within the metric system. For instance, they will have opportunities to practice basic length conversions, including converting meters to centimeters, millimeters, and kilometers, and then back to the original unit again. For mass conversions, students will learn to convert grams to milligrams, and kilograms back to grams. For volume conversions, students will practice converting kiloliters to liters and liters to milliliters.

  • Learn to convert British units.

    Student will learn to convert British units from one unit to another within this system. For example, students will practice length conversions, such as inches to feet and yards to miles, and volume conversions, such as cups to pints and quarts to gallons.

  • Learn to convert British units to metric units.

    Student will learn to convert units from one system to another-from British to the metric system and then back again. Student will become familiar with equations that can be used to convert various units and will then be given an opportunity to review the equations in interactive exercises.

In keeping with the expected knowledge of students in grades 9-12, British and Metric Conversions will help assess the skills needed to be successful in a math class. In various problem-solving exercises, students will have numerous opportunities to illustrate what they have learned about measurement systems. Finally, a fun interactive test will provide teachers with a better understanding of each student's strengths and weaknesses with the material.

How to Use This Site

British and Metrics Conversions consists of eight sections and an assessment. Each section explores one aspect of the relationship between British and metric units and explains how to convert units from one system to the other. By following the instructions on the screen, students will learn about various subtopics. Students will view animations, read explanations, learn the symbols for various units, and perform computations to convert from one system to the other. Some of these interactive features will help students understand the concepts involved, and some will test how much students have learned.

Technical Requirements

  1. Browser using Internet Explorer 5 (and higher) and Mozilla 5 (and higher)

  2. Flash player 7 minimum requirement

  3. Javascript in browser is turned on


Production Credits

British and Metric Conversions is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York. Copyright 2007, Annenberg Media. All rights reserved.

Content Production

Cindy Jackson, Writer

Cindy Jackson has served as science educator for over 20 years in Georgia, Ohio, and New York. Her experiences are supported with education degrees from Milligan College; a B.S. in biology, Georgia State; an M.A.T. in science education; and an Ed.M. in education administration from City College of New York. She has been working in an all-boys private school in Manhattan for the last five years. She has taught many subjects, including biology, earth science, chemistry, physical science, physics, and human anatomy and physiology.

Leslie Kriesel, Copy Editor

Interactive and Broadband Unit

Anthony Chapman, Director of Interactive and Broadband
Brian Pritchett, Associate Producer
Shannon Palmer, Flash Programmer
Lenny Drozner, Designer and Flash Animator
Ying Zhou-Hudson, Graphics Production
Brian Santalone, HTML Implementation

Related Resources

Learning Math: Measurement
Math in Daily Life


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