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The ABC’s of Science. Intro to Life Science Measurement Metric System Part 1: Length Volume. Science is all around us. Botany: the study of plants, uses PS to explain how plants use carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and water (H 2 O)to make food. Science is all around us.

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The abc s of science

The ABC’s of Science

Intro to Life Science


Metric System Part 1:



Science is all around us
Science is all around us

  • Botany: the study of plants, uses PS to explain how plants use carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O)to make food

Science is all around us1
Science is all around us

  • Geology: explain earthquake waves and rock composition

  • Oceanography: chemistry of ocean water

  • Ecology: the nitrogen cycle and the transfer of energy between organisms in a food chain

  • Biology: how the heart pumps blood, how the eyes & ears work and how the brain sends electrical impulses throughout the body.

What are the abc s of science
What are the ABC’s of Science?

  • The Metric System

  • Safety Rules

  • The Scientific Method

    --> We will be “reviewing” all of the above… pay attention, you will be tested on it!

Mini contest

  • Which group can measure the length of the room the BEST?

  • In your group, plan (quietly and secretly) HOW you are going to measure the room. You have 3.5 minutes to plan

  • You may use any of the measuring tools on the counter.

  • Now, grab your tools and MEASURE (you have 4.5 minutes)

Mini contest1

  • Write down our answer on a sticky note.

  • Let’s see who got the answer.

  • Answer: the room is _________ long.

  • Did everyone get the same answer?

  • Why not?

It all depends on the foot
It all depends on the foot!

  • Numbers and units are used to make measurements.

  • The distance from your desk to my desk could be 25 shoe lengths or 30 shoe lengths.

  • It depends on how big the shoe is.

  • Think of Shaq’s foot versus Mini-Me.

It all depends on the foot1
It all depends on the foot!

  • You can see that to use practical measurements, a measurement standard HAS to be used.

  • In other words, everyone has to use the SAME system or units.

  • Otherwise, it just gets confusing.

Wow, why didn't

I think of that!

Let s talk metric
Let’s talk Metric

  • A standardis a fixed quantity used by everyone when measuring.

  • Here in America we use an English system: foot, yard, and mile.

  • However, MOST people use another system called the International System of Units or SI(which stands for Système Internationale d’Unités)

  • This is the modern form of the metric system.


  • By using this system ALL scientists can understand each others measurements.

  • If I conducted an experiment here in America, even someone in Zimbabwe would be able to understand my measurements.

  • And, everything is done in multiples of 10, so changing from one unit to another is easier than with English units.

Break it down
Break it down

  • OK, let’s get this as simple as we can.

  • We are going to look at all of our metric measurement units as two-part words.

  • The first part is the PREFIX.

  • The second part is the type of UNIT.

  • So --> PREFIX - UNIT

Part 1 the prefix
Part 1: the PREFIX

  • Here are some important prefixes:

  • You need to memorize these

Part 2 the unit
Part 2: the UNIT

  • Here are some important UNITs, and you need to memorize these too.

Break it down yo self
Break it down yo’self!

  • One kilometer is equal to ____ meters.

    • kilo - meter

      • prefix = kilo or 1000

      • meter = unit measuring distance

  • Therefore: 1 kilometer = 1000 meters.

  • 5 kilometers would be:

    • 5 x 1000 meters = 5,000 meters

  • Always remember to break it down!

I still don t get it
I still don’t get it.

  • Here’s another way to go from one unit to another; just remember:

  • King Henry Died of Drinking Chocolate Milk Mmmmmm.

  • King Henry Died of Drinking Chocolate Milk Mmmm

    i e e e e i i

    l c k c n l c

    o t a i t l r

    o i i o

  • To convert to a larger unit, move the decimal place to the left (divide)

  • To convert to a smaller unit, move the decimal place to the right (multiply)

Let s practice
Let’s Practice

  • 10 grams = _____ kilograms

    • Move the decimal three places to the left (divide)

    • .01kg

  • 56 meters = _____ centimeters

    • Move the decimal two places to the right (multiply)

    • 5,600 cm

  • 876 centimeters = ____ kilometers

    • Move the decimal five places to the left (divide)

    • .00876 km

Let s talk length
Let’s talk Length

  • The meter (m) is the SI unit of length.

  • A meter is about the distance from a doorknob to the floor.

  • A driver golf club is also about a meter in length.

  • The meter is divided into 100 equal parts called centimeters (cm).

  • There are 100 centimeters in a meter:

    • 100cm = 1 m

Measuring length1
Measuring Length

  • An even smaller unit is a millimeter (mm).

  • The prefix milli- means 1/1000, so…

    • 1000 mm = 1 m

    • 10 mm = 1 cm

  • Long distances are measured in kilometers (km)

  • Note: here is the US, we measure speed by miles per hour, or mph. In most other countries, they measure in kilometers per hour.

You try it
You try it!

  • Name 3 things that are about one meter long

  • Name 3 things that are measured in centimeters

  • Name 3 things that are small enough to be measured in millimeters


4. Meters: golf club, bath towels

5. Centimeters: your little fingernail, the distance between the lines on standard notebook paper, the width of a large paper clip

6. Millimeters: wire diameter, book thickness, tape width, camera film

Let s talk volume
Let’s talk Volume

  • Have you ever heard someone say “this shampoo gives my hair a lot of volume!!!”

  • What does that mean?

  • Volume means to take up space.

  • Or, volume is the amount of space occupied by an object.

  • So if someone’s hair has a lot of volume, that means it is full.

  • It takes up a lot of space.

Measuring volume of solid rectangular objects
Measuring Volume of Solid Rectangular Objects

  • For solid rectangular objects, the volume is the length x width x height.

  • V = l x w x h

  • A cubic meter (m3) is a unit of volume.

  • A cubic meter is a very large unit - it contains 1,000,000 cubic centimeters.

You try it1
You try it!

7. What is the volume of this solid?

  • V = l x w x h

  • V = 4cm x 1cm x 2cm

  • V = 8 cm3

    8. What is the volume of this solid?

  • V = 3cm x 3cm x 3cm

  • V = 27 cm3

Measuring volume of liquid objects
Measuring Volume of Liquid Objects

  • For liquid objects, we use graduated cylinders to measure the volume.

  • In cooking, we may also use measuring cups, teaspoons or tablespoons.

  • The level of a liquid in a graduated cylinder shows the volume of the liquid.

  • A liter (L) is a unit that is usually used to express volume

  • A soft drink bottle is a 2-liter bottle.

Measuring volume1
Measuring Volume

  • For smaller volume measurements, we also use:

    • milliliter (ml)

    • cubic centimeter (cm3).

  • One liter contains 1000 milliliters or 1000 cubic centimeters.

  • 1L = 1000ml = 1000 cm3

  • 1mL = 1 cm3

Accuracy is everything
Accuracy is Everything

  • To read the volume of the liquid, note the level at the bottom of the curve.

  • We call this the meniscus.

You try it2
You try it!

9. What is the volume in ml?

  • 73 ml

    10. What is the volume in ml?

  • 21.5 ml

Measuring volume of solid irregular objects
Measuring Volume of Solid Irregular Objects

  • So, how would I measure the volume of an irregular object such as a piece of clay?

  • I can’t measure the sides and I can’t use a measuring cup.

  • But I CAN still use a graduated cylinder.

  • Simply submerge the object in the graduated cylinder and record the difference in water level.

  • We call this measuring volume by displacement.

  • You will practice it during the lab today.