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## Metrics Measurements

Follow the instructions below to make a series of measurements and calculations. You may work with a partner but everyone must write down the measurements and perform the calculations on their own paper. Use a ruler or meterstick and the lab balance to make your measurements.

### Part 1: Measurements and Metric Conversion

1. Length of a Desk
1. Measure the length of a student desk or table in cm to the nearest 0.01 cm.
2. Convert the length in cm to m. Show your work including the conversion factor.
3. Convert the length in cm to mm. Show your work including the conversion factor.
4. Which of the units feels the most convenient to you? Why?
5. Would it make sense to convert your result to μm or nm? Why or why not?
2. Length of the Room
1. Measure the length of the room to the nearest 0.01 m using a meterstick. Do not count floor tiles and convert from ft to m.
2. Convert the length in m to cm. Show your work including the conversion factor.
3. Convert the length in m to km. Show your work including the conversion factor.
4. Which of the units feels the most convenient to you? Why?
5. Would it make sense to convert your result to nm or to μm? Why or why not?
3. Mass of a Pencil
1. Measure the mass of a pencil to the nearest 0.01 g using a lab balance.
2. Convert the mass in g to mg. Show your work including the conversion factor.
3. Convert the mass in g to kg. Show your work including the conversion factor.
4. Which of the units feels the most convenient to you? Why?
5. Would it make sense to convert your result to metric tons (megagram, Mg) or to milligrams (mg)? Why or why not?
4. What makes a metric unit convenient? What makes one inconvenient?
5. Is it ever convenient to convert to a unit more than 2 prefixes away from one you start with? Why or why not?

### Part 2: Thickness of Copy Paper

Obtain a sheet of copy paper. Measure the length and width to the nearest 0.01 cm. Measure the mass to the nearest 0.01 g. It is best to measure the mass of ten sheets and divide by ten to get a more accurate average mass.

Mass of Ten Sheets: _______________________    Mass of One Sheet: _______________________

The density of copy paper (20 lb./75 g/m2 specification) is 0.750 g/cm3. Calculate the thickness of the paper using the density.

First, calculate the volume of material in the sheet:

```                         1 cm3
____________ g × -----------  =  ___________ cm3
(mass of 1 sheet)       0.750 g
```

Next, calculate the area of a single sheet of paper by converting 8.5 in × 11 in into cm2.

Finally, calculate the thickness, or height, of the paper:

```V = L × W × H   and   L × W = Area   so   V = A × H
So you can calculate height using:
V (cm3)                 cm3
H (cm) = ---      H = ---------------- = _______________ cm
A (cm2)                 cm2
```

Make a data table for the volume in cm3, the area in cm2, and the height in cm. Put the table here:

One more question: The height in cm is a pretty inconvenient number because it is quite small. What metric unit would be better: m, mm, or μm? Pick one and show your work to convert it. If your answer is still pretty weird, try a different one. A nice number would be between 1 and 1000.
Last updated: Sep 20, 2022 Home