Why the United States Should Adopt the Metric System of Measurement

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The Metric System: A Decimal System of Measurement

The Metric system is a decimal system of measurement that has been adopted internationally. This system is also referred to as the International System of Units. It is involved in the measurement of common everyday substances such as a person's height, car speed, a sack of flour and a petrol tank. It is also of importance in the scientific, industrial and also the trade sectors. The metric system was established to have certain properties that make it widely applicable and easy to utilize. The United States should change its system of measurement to the metric system due to various reasons. It is better to use the metric system of measurement as opposed to the customary system of measurement since it has more advantages.

The Failed Adoption of the Metric System in the United States

In the early 1960's, the country had a movement that proposed the adoption of the metric system in the United States that failed (Marciano 1). The country has been using the customary measurement system since before the United States gained independence. The metric system is mostly seen to be used by academics and immigrants despite being allowed by the legislation to be used in various industries and also despite the large amounts of money used to improve public awareness of the metric measurement system. The American people deny giving up the customary system of measurement together with any other system that is used (Marciano 1). In the modern American society, there has been a public acceptance of a joint system whereby both the metric system of measurement and the IS System of measurement used in the rest of the world are taught to children in schools. This is the reason why measuring rulers or even sticks in the US have both centimeters and inches.

The Importance of the Metric System for Scientists

Scientists are not the only people who depend on the metric system of measurement. Majority of scientists have been able to learn the utilization of the metric system. Majority of scientists use the metric system to describe the world thus any person in America or any other country who wants to excel in college or any other form of higher education or understand world phenomenon and complexities will first have to comprehend the metric system of measurement.

The Adoption of the Metric System by Governments

Majority of the governments in the world have adopted the metric measurement system. The United States National Council of Mathematics Teachers has suggested that it should be the primary system of measurement to be taught to children in schools as opposed to the SI. The metric system is beneficial in several ways. First of all, it mostly bases on powers of 10 and increments. In this case, fractions are expressed in decimal form through metric calculations. The decimal form makes the calculations to be simpler and easier and that it also enables automatic calculators to display them. This makes it easier to convert measurements than when using the English measuring system thus switching from millimeters and later on to meters becomes easy as compared to the English system which in itself is sophisticated and also entails various rules that preside over the conversion. Secondly, it contains standardized prefixes. The movement of decimal points is represented by a prefix that is memorable. These standardized prefixes get rid of extra units such as miles or inches (Deziel 1).

The Need to Migrate to the Metric System in the United States

Another reason as to why the United States needs to migrate from its traditional system of measurement to the present day metric system is the extent to which America strongly clings to its traditional measurement system. America is among two other countries that have not yet migrated to the new metric system of measurement the others being Liberia and Myanmar (Chan 1). Approximately 95 percent of people live in countries that consider the metric system to be their official measurement systems. It is necessary to incorporate this system since other countries have decided to use the measurement system. Understanding the measurement system being used globally and in the international market would help facilitate trade. The metric system is also considered to be easily divisible. The metric system is easily convertible and divisible. For instance, instead of having to remember that one foot consists of four inches, a yard has three feet and also that 5280 feet make up a mile, one just has to remember that a centimeter encompasses 10 millimeters, a decimeter has 10 centimeters and also that one meter contains 10 decimeters. In this case, it becomes easier to read, remember as well as convert. The metric system is also advantageous in that there is the use of simple vocabulary whereby each unit of measurement has its own word. For example, a meter is the base word for length while gram is for weight. These base words in the metric measurement system stands have their prefixes, for instance, kilo stands for 1000 grams.

The Importance of the Metric System in Science and Medicine

On the other hand, the country's traditional English system does not have any vocabulary, therefore, one is required to memorize various terminologies related to the facts and aspects and their conversion rates. The metric system is utilized in the scientific as well as the medicinal fields. By being able to retrace the history of the measurement system, one is able to show the importance of having one universal system of measurement which is the metric system for the world as well as the consequences of wrong conversions such as the crashing of a Mars rover or even colliding of an orbiter with Mars (Chan 1).

Migrating to the Metric System for Global Understanding

Despite the various advantages of both the SI and the English systems, the United States needs to incorporate the metric system of measurement as it is internationally available and adopted in various countries thus making it easier to study various phenomena in various parts of the world.

Works Cited

Chan, Casey. "Why the Metric System Is So Important." Sploid, 21 July 2016, sploid.gizmodo.com/why-the-metric-system-is-so-important-1784052092. Accessed 8 Mar. 2018.

Deziel, Chris. "Why Do We Use the Metric System in Science?" Sciencing, 1 Feb. 2018, sciencing.com/do-use-metric-system-science-5501930.html. Accessed 8 Mar. 2018.

Marciano, John B. "Why Won't America Go Metric?" Time, 15 Dec. 2014, time.com/3633514/why-wont-america-go-metric/. Accessed 8 Mar. 2018.

September 25, 2023




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