Standard versus Non-standard Units of Measurement
Making Measurement Meaningful
Metric System versus US Customary System of Measurement
The Metric System
By the 18th century, there were different units of measurement commonly used throughout the world. Length, for example, could be measured in feet, inches, miles, spans, cubits, hands, furlongs, palms, rods, chains, leagues, and more. The lack of common standards led to a lot of confusion and significant inefficiencies in trade between countries. At the end of the century, the French government sought to get rid of this problem by creating a system of measurement that could be used throughout the world. In 1790, the French National Assembly commissioned the Academy of Science to design a simple decimal-based system of units; the system they devised is known as the metric system. In 1960, the metric system was officially named the Système International d'Unités (or SI for short) and is now used in nearly every country in the world except the United States. The metric system is almost always used in scientific measurement.
Standard Measurement Manipulatives