Tag Archives: Metric System

Nature of Science: Meters, Liters, and Grams!

Our entry task for the day was to watch The Inner Life of a Cell (below), a video created by the Harvard University group BioVisions.  The video perfectly complemented the reading students did yesterday, bringing to life the processes that occur inside and outside the cells in our bodies.  After the video, we discussed the scale of cells, with students learning that white blood cells are only 6-8 μm in diameter (one micrometer (μm) is equal to one-millionth of a meter).  We then created class lists of tools scientists use.  Each class added to a growing list, and tomorrow we will categorize our large list.  We concluded with a worksheet where students practiced making calculations using metric units.  The base units were introduced through the artistic talents of teacher Pete Hendley (actually, his alter ego KILA META) in his amazing rap video, “Meters, Liters, and Grams.”  Be warned – it will stay with you 😉

UPDATE: Students may skip worksheet questions 10-13.  My attempts to show the math steps actually made the work more confusing for most students.  Please work through problems 1-20 as homework, skipping 10-13.

Nature of Science: Measuring in Metric

The lesson today focused on using a ruler to measure lines using centimeters and millimeters.  During the first half of the lesson, students used index cards and a leveling device to level their desks.  Many of our classroom desks have uneven legs, so students placed stacks of index cards under the desk legs to make them level.  Students then had the option of using a level, a level app on their phone, or a marble to determine when their desk was level.  Once the desk was level, students made a table in their lab notebooks and reported the number of index cards under each table leg, as well as the thickness of each index card stack in millimeters.  During the second part of class, students watched a brief video on the Golden Ratio.  Students then practiced measuring the distance between facial features (first on a worksheet and then on their partner) and calculated the ratios of the distances to determine how their data compared with the Golden Ratio.  Tomorrow we debate whether the Golden Ratio should be considered science or pseudoscience.