Metric System – Definition, Conversions, Examples
Welcome to Brighterly’s comprehensive guide on the metric system! As a globally recognized decimalbased system of measurement, the metric system is extensively used in scientific research, international trade, and everyday life. Here at Brighterly, we pride ourselves on offering topnotch math worksheets for children to learn and master the metric system. In this exclusive article, we will delve deep into various aspects of the metric system, such as its base units, chart, conversions, length, comparison with the Imperial system, and a whole lot more!
The metric system offers unparalleled simplicity and consistency, making it an ideal choice for educating young minds about measurements. By learning the metric system, children can easily grasp realworld applications and apply their understanding to a wide range of scientific and everyday scenarios. Brighterly is committed to making the learning process engaging and enjoyable, with interactive materials and content tailored for young learners.
What is the Metric System?
The metric system is a cohesive and standardized system of measurements that operates on the decimal system, utilizing multiples of ten for its calculations. First introduced in France towards the end of the 18th century, the metric system has rapidly gained widespread adoption and is now the predominant system of measurement across the globe. Its simplicity, consistency, and ease of use make it an ideal choice for teaching children about measurements and fostering their understanding of various dimensions and quantities.
The metric system’s design is based on the principle that all units of measurement should be related to each other by a factor of ten. This unifying concept eliminates the need for complicated conversion factors, streamlining the process of calculating measurements and enabling a more intuitive understanding of the relationships between various units. As a result, children who learn the metric system can quickly grasp its logic and apply it effectively in diverse contexts, from science experiments and engineering projects to cooking and planning travel distances.
Metric Units
The metric system has seven base units that serve as the foundation for all other units of measurement. These are:
 Meter (m) – length
 Kilogram (kg) – mass
 Second (s) – time
 Ampere (A) – electric current
 Kelvin (K) – temperature
 Mole (mol) – amount of substance
 Candela (cd) – luminous intensity
These base units can be combined with prefixes to create larger or smaller units. Some common prefixes include:
 Kilo (k) – 1,000
 Hecto (h) – 100
 Deca (da) – 10
 Deci (d) – 0.1
 Centi (c) – 0.01
 Milli (m) – 0.001
 Micro (µ) – 0.000001
 Nano (n) – 0.000000001
Metric System Chart
A metric system chart is a helpful tool for understanding the relationships between different metric units. It can be a table, diagram, or infographic that visually represents the metric units, their prefixes, and their values. A welldesigned metric system chart can make it easier for children to grasp the concept of metric measurements and conversions. Here’s a sample metric system chart to help you visualize the relationships between different units.
Metric System Conversion
Converting between metric units is simple, as it only requires multiplying or dividing by powers of ten. This process is called metric system conversion. For example, to convert from kilometers to meters, you multiply by 1,000. To convert from centimeters to meters, you divide by 100. These conversions are essential for various reallife applications, such as calculating distances, weights, and temperatures.
Metric System Length
The base unit of length in the metric system is the meter (m). It is used to measure distances and sizes of objects. To express larger or smaller distances, we use prefixes like kilometers (km), centimeters (cm), and millimeters (mm). Here are some examples:
 1 kilometer (km) = 1,000 meters (m)
 1 meter (m) = 100 centimeters (cm)
 1 meter (m) = 1,000 millimeters (mm)
Metric System vs Imperial
The Imperial system is an older system of measurement that uses units such as inches, feet, yards, and miles for length, and ounces, pounds, and stones for weight. It is still widely used in the United States and a few other countries. Comparing the metric system to the Imperial system, we find that the metric system is much more straightforward and easier to learn, especially for children. The metric system’s baseten structure simplifies conversions, while the Imperial system involves various conversion factors that can be challenging to memorize.
Solved Examples on Metric System
At Brighterly, we provide the best math worksheets for kids, helping them practice the metric system with ease. Here are some solved examples to help children understand metric system conversions:

Convert 5 kilometers to meters:
5 km × 1,000 = 5,000 meters

Convert 120 centimeters to meters:
120 cm ÷ 100 = 1.2 meters

Convert 7,500 millimeters to meters:
7,500 mm ÷ 1,000 = 7.5 meters
Practice Problems on Metric System
Here are some practice problems for children to work on their metric system skills:
 Convert 3.5 kilometers to meters.
 Convert 450 centimeters to meters.
 Convert 6,200 millimeters to meters.
 Convert 12 kilometers to centimeters.
 Convert 15,000 millimeters to kilometers.
Conclusion on Metric System
In conclusion, the metric system stands out as an effective, userfriendly, and universally acknowledged system of measurement. Its inherent simplicity and consistency make it a superior choice for teaching children about measurements, and Brighterly is committed to providing comprehensive learning materials to support this process. As children master the metric system, they develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and gain the ability to apply their knowledge across a wide range of scientific and everyday situations.
At Brighterly, we believe that by equipping young learners with the tools and resources they need to learn the metric system, we are empowering them to excel in various fields, from science and engineering to everyday tasks like cooking and travel planning. The metric system’s logical structure and ease of use pave the way for more efficient problemsolving and streamlined communication in a global context.
Frequently Asked Questions on Metric Systems
What countries do not use the metric system?
The United States, Liberia, and Myanmar are the only three countries that have not fully adopted the metric system as their official system of measurement.
Why is the metric system important?
The metric system is important because it provides a standardized, simple, and consistent method of measurement that is universally recognized. This facilitates global communication, trade, and scientific research.
When was the metric system created?
The metric system was created in France in the late 18th century, during the French Revolution. It was officially adopted by France in 1795.
How do I convert between metric units?
To convert between metric units, you simply multiply or divide by the appropriate power of ten, depending on the prefixes involved. For example, to convert from kilometers to meters, you multiply by 1,000. To convert from centimeters to meters, you divide by 100.
Is the metric system better than the Imperial system?
The metric system is generally considered more straightforward and efficient than the Imperial system due to its decimalbased structure. This makes conversions and calculations much easier to perform and understand.
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