Maths History: The Metric System

The metric system is a system of measurement first adopted by the French in 1799 and adopted internationally today. It is known as the ‘International System of Units’.
The system became very popular very quickly and many nations were happy to accept this as their unit of measurement.

Only 3 countries have not yet adopted the International System of Units as their official system of weights and measures – These are Burma, Liberia and the United States of America!


The metric system uses units such as metre, gram and litre to measure length, mass and liquid volume. These are units that we see used in many things today, such as The Olympics: an athlete might swim the 100 metre freestyle or run the 100 metre hurdles.
Below is a table demonstrating the basic units of the metric system.


Interesting Facts about the Metric System:

– The metric system has been adopted by most major countries around the world. By the mid-1970s, most countries had converted to the metric system or had plans to do so. When it comes to measurement, the United States is the only major country who has not adopted the metric system! Using the metric system just makes sense, in order to standardize measurement around the globe.

– The metric system was created by scientists. When invented, it was designed to fit their needs, so it is a logical and exact system.

– The metric system was designed to be simple! When making measurements of all kinds, it is only necessary to know a few metric units! In all, there are only 7 base units in this system of measurement! Compared to the twenty base units found in the inch-pound system of measurement, it is much easier to remember. The metric system also follows the decimal number system, so each metric unit increases or decreases in size by 10. (Ex. 1 metre = 10 decimetres; 1 decimetre = 10 centimetres; etc.)


So now that you have the important information and history regarding the metric system, are you ready to try some converting of your own?
Why not give it a go and see how simple conversion of the metric system can be!

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