A WebQuest for 7th Grade Science
| The Task
| The Process
Your school has decided to secede from the United States and become its own
nation, “The United People of Knowledge.” There are many tasks ahead of your new
country: electing a leader, writing a new set of laws, choosing a currency,
creating a new flag, etc. One very important task to be preformed is to
establish a standard set of
Weights and Measures.
The provisional government has assigned a group of their top
scientists, including you, the task of choosing the official units of
measurement for your country. You will compare the metric system (Also called
SI) and the US/English systems for length, mass, and volume, and
answer the following question:
- Overall, which system is better and why?
-Part 1, Individual work
1. Divide into groups of 4 students. Print out a copy of the
for each student.
2. Have each student choose a topic to research: length, mass, temperature or
3. As an individual, go to each one of the
and gather the following information for your measurement:
- What are the units, smallest to largest,
in metric and US/English standard?
- How do you convert from one unit to
another in both metric and US/English Standard (Ex. centimeters to meters,
inches to feet)?
- On what is each measurement based (Where
did it come from? WHY is a foot called a foot)?
- In your opinion, which system, metric or
US/English, is easier to use and WHY?
IMPORTANT: On each page, try to find a link or button that takes you
to a section on the metric system (SI) and/or the US/English system. Don’t just
try to look up “volume” or “length, ” etc.
4. Record the information you gather in the appropriate columns on your
-Part 2: Group Work
1. Come together and present to the group what each member found out,
summarizing each section of the Research Sheet.
2. Print out a copy of the
(in your packet)
3. Make sure you have gone to all of the
sites below. If it
will help with your discussion, return to any of the sites as a group.
4. As a group fill out your Group Decision Sheet, answering the question:
- What system, metric or US/English, will
you recommend for all of the measurements?
(use back button to
return to this page)
Factual information on units
A Dictionary of Measures, Units and
-University of Exeter
A Dictionary of Units of Measurement
-Russ Rowlett and UNC at Chapel Hill
The International System of unit (SI)
-Bureau International des Poids et Mesures
More “opinionated” information,
pros and cons.
US Metrication Association
Click through the links in the "Metric system
-pro metric sight with good information
English Weights & Measures
English arguments, with good info. on units. Click on the "anti-metrication"
Students will be graded on the quality of the two worksheets. Emphasis is placed
on the depth to which the topics are covered. See the
(in your packet)for more details.
In the United States, the Metric System will some day be the rule of the land.
Congress passed legislation back in 1975 to move the United States towards
metrication. Since that time, many initiatives have come and gone, many without
any success. After this activity, you should be able to decide for yourself if
you think the metric system is the way to go!
Adapted from site by Rob Frescoln
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