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Metric Week Begins 10/10/10!

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Credit: NIST

Every day is a metric day at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). But that won't stop the agency from celebrating Metric Week, held annually the week of Oct. 10—the tenth day of the tenth month.

This year marks the 34th annual celebration of Metric Week. Begun by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics on May 10, 1976, approximately one year after the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, Metric Week serves as an opportunity for teachers, students and the public to learn about the metric system, also known as the international system of units, or SI for short, and promote its use.

The U.S. government has adopted SI, long the standard measurement system of science and engineering, as the preferred system of weights and measures for commerce and industry.

Based on units of ten, SI is very easy to learn, and many Americans know it better than they think. Many products, from bottled drinks to medicines, are already sold and discussed in terms of their metric measures.

"SI knowledge, skills and abilities are essential for students as they pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics [STEM] careers," says Elizabeth Gentry, a metric coordinator at NIST. "Developing proficiency in metric measurements will prepare U.S. students to work with cutting edge technology and develop innovative consumer products of the future."

This year, representatives from the NIST Metric Program will be celebrating Metric Week with more than 4,000 students and teachers at the Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) conference in Riverside, CA.

NIST offers teachers and students who are interested in learning more about SI a variety of educational materials, including Education Resources, Everyday Estimation,
Metric Units of Measurement, Unit Conversions, and Measurements in Sports.


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