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High School | Mathematics | Estimation and Measurement

Measurement provides a way to answer questions about “how many,” “how much” and “how far.” It is an indispensable component of business, manufacturing, art, medicine and many other aspects of daily life. We describe the sizes, capacities and values of many things, from the large distances involved in space travel, to the very small quantities in computer design and microbiology, to the varying values of currencies in international monetary exchange. All people must be able to choose an appropriate level of accuracy for a measurement; to select what measuring instruments to use and to correctly determine the measures of objects, space and time. These activities require people to be able to use standard instruments including rulers, volume and capacity measures, timers and emerging measurement technologies found in the home and workplace.

Learning Objectives

Measure and compare quantities using appropriate units, instruments and methods:

  • Apply units and scales to describe and compare numerical data and physical objects.
  • Apply formulas in a wide variety of theoretical and practical real-world measurement applications involving perimeter, area, volume, angle, time, temperature, mass, speed, distance, density and monetary values.
  • Apply nonlinear scales (e.g., Richter, decibel, pH) to solve practical problems.

Estimate measurements and determine acceptable levels of accuracy:

  • Estimate and measure the magnitude and directions of physical quantities (e.g., velocity, force, slope) using rulers, protractors and other scientific instruments including timers, calculators and computers.
  • Estimate perimeter, area, volume, and capacity of irregular shapes, regions and solids and explain the reasoning supporting the estimate.

Select and use appropriate technology, instruments and formulas to solve problems, interpret results and communicate findings:

  • Make indirect measurements, including heights and distances, using proportions (e.g., finding the height of a tower by its shadow).
  • Interpret scale drawings and models using maps and blueprints.
  • Use dimensional analysis to determine units and check answers in applied measurement problems.
  • Convert within and between measurement systems and monetary systems using technology where appropriate.
  • Determine how changes in one measure may affect other measures (e.g., what happens to the volume and surface area of a cube when the side of the cube is halved).

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