Measurement in your daily life: uses, tools, and challenge
You use different forms of measurement throughout your daily life, at home, at work, and in other day to day activities. For example, when brewing a pot of coffee in the morning, both the water and the coffee grounds must be measured to create a cup (or two) to start off the day. On the drive to work, or school, you also must consider the time of day and associated traffic, the distance to travel, and the amount of gas in the tank of the car.
Reflect on your daily life and think about the various ways in which you use measurement. Then, discuss the following.
- Choose something that you measure on a daily basis. What do you measure and how do you measure it (what tool or device do you use, and what are the measurement units)? How is this measurement important or necessary within your daily life?
- What would the consequences be if your measurements were inconsistent or incorrect? In science and in your daily life, what are the advantages of precise and accurate measurement?
- Are there ways in which technology could help you to perform this measurement differently and perhaps with more accuracy or precision? Explain.
- Do other people use the same system of measurement as you? If not, how else do they make this measurement?
- Think back to this week’s Reading, including the section on Units and Numbers. How could standardized measurement improve your own measurement practices? Why is standardized measurement important within specific fields of science? Try to focus on one field (medicine, environmental science, geology, etc.) and provide an example of how standardized measurement allows for scientists to both clearly communicate their results as well as record their observations.