Why We Do Not Measure Up! The Metric System in America
Monday, January 14th 2019
Even though the United States has resisted the worldwide change to the metric system, its adoption is inevitable for Americans! History tells us that countries have only switched to metric, none the other way (except for temporary reversions). The US remains in the midst of its metric transition as measurements change in various aspects of business and life. This information is especially important for teachers/instructors, who should also know the history and current status of metric in the US.
The US “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 a firm deadline and the voluntary nature of our conversion has hindered progress towards metric. Therefore, the US in effect remains the only major industrial nation not using the metric system.
The slow (voluntary) path that the US 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, most of which are hidden to the average/casual observer.
Goals and Target Audience:
This lecture presents the current status of the metric system adoption by the US, 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 here, and that metric is inevitable for the US.
Faculty and staff - as teachers, instructors, and leaders - should be knowledgeable of the history and status of the US transition to metric. This PowerPoint lecture, with imbedded humor, explains what resources are available to help them, and it encourages participants to not ignore, but support the metric transition of the US.