Whatever Happened to the United States Adoption of the Metric System?
Wednesday, January 16th 2013
Metric is inevitable for the United States! History tells us that countries have only switched to metric, none the other way (except for temporary reversions). The U.S. remains in the midst of its metric transition as measurement changes are made in various sectors of the economy. Therefore, this information is especially important for teachers/instructors, who should also know our metric history and its current status.
The U.S. “missed the boat” in the 1970s when the rest of the English-speaking world converted to metric. That was a time when the metric system was being taught in schools, and metric was intended to replace our former units in most aspects of daily life. However, the lack of firm deadlines for conversion has hindered progress towards metric. Therefore, the U.S. remains the only major industrial nation not using the metric system.
The voluntary (slow) path that the U.S. chose to follow is why we are still struggling with metric transition. Most people are surprised when they learn of the large number of consumer products, services, and standards that already use metric units, but that are mostly hidden to the average/casual observer.
Goals and Target Audience:
This lecture presents the current status of the metric system adoption by the U.S., where the change is currently taking place, and where it will likely take place in the future. Most Americans do not realize the extent of metric usage in the world, how widely metric is already used in the U.S., and that metric is inevitable for the U.S.
Faculty and staff - as teachers, instructors, and leaders - should be knowledgeable of the history and status of the U.S. transition to metric. This PowerPoint lecture, with imbedded humor, explains what resources are available to help them, and it encourages participants to support the metric transition of the U.S.