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ACTIVITY

Measuring foot pressure

In this activity, students collect measurements that will enable them to calculate the pressure exerted by each foot when standing normally. SI units, derived units and prefixes will be used ...

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ARTICLE

Measurement – introduction

Measurement is the process of obtaining the magnitude of a quantity relative to an agreed standard. The articles we have on measurement focus on the agreed standards of measurement in use in New ...

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ACTIVITY

Precision and accuracy

In this activity, students analyse sets of data and decide whether the measurements are precise and/or accurate. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: define the terms ...

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ARTICLE

Non-SI units

A number of non-SI units are commonly used, even though the SI system of units allows for complete coverage of all scientific measurements. The reasons for this are historical and political as ...

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Pre-European Māori measurement

Due to the geographical isolation of New Zealand, pre-European Māori had little contact with neighbouring islands. Trade and commerce were internally based so there was no need for a precise ...

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Powers of 10

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures has adopted a series of prefix names and symbols for decimal multiples and submultiples of SI units. They are expressed as powers of 10 and range ...

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SI derived units

SI is built on seven fundamental standards called base units. All other SI units are derived by multiplying, dividing or powering the base units in various combinations, For example: mechanical ...

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SI base units

Measurement of any quantity involves comparison with a precisely defined unit value. This is necessary for a measurement to mean the same thing in different places and to different people ...

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Measurement systems

To measure the quantity of anything, we need a comparison with some precise unit value. Early humans used body parts and natural surroundings to provide suitable measuring instruments ...

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ACTIVITY

Making a thermometer

Thermometers measure temperature. Daniel Fahrenheit is credited with the invention of the first thermometer, which was constructed using glass and mercury. In this activity, students will ...

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ACTIVITY

Making a rain gauge

Rain gauges are one of the most ancient weather instruments. The ancient Greeks and people in India were the first known to keep rainfall records, about 400–500 BC. In 1441, Korea invented the ...

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ACTIVITY

Making an anemometer

English astronomer John Robinson invented the anemometer in 1846. Anemometers measure wind speed and have become one of the essential tools for weather forecasting. ‘Anemos’ is the Greek word for ...

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ARTICLE

Expressing quantities

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) has developed a set of guidelines on how to properly use and apply the International System of Units (SI). These guidelines describe how ...

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ARTICLE

Climate models

Climate affects our lives, and it will continue to affect our future. But how do we know what might change over time? Scientists often use models to represent and test ideas and processes. A ...

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ACTIVITY

Measuring the power output of elite athletes

In this activity, students analyse data from an experiment that measures force and velocity for various load conditions in a bench press situation. By the end of this activity, students should be ...

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Changing the mass standard

Of the seven base SI units, mass is the only one still defined by a material artefact. Originally, 1 kilogram was defined as the mass of 1000 cm3 of water at 4 °C. Based on this, the ...

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ACTIVITY

Cubits, spans and digits

In this activity, students investigate the use of body parts such as the arm and fingers as a basis for developing a length measuring system. By the end of this activity, students should be able ...

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ACTIVITY

Making a barometer

Barometers work on the principle that the air pressure can change. High air pressure tends to indicate fair weather, and low air pressure can indicate poor or rainy weather. A barometer shows the ...

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Measurements, weird and wonderful

This teacher resource is a collection of unusual measurement units not in common usage but of interest to those fascinated by the unusual. Student activities can be developed from some of the ...

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ACTIVITY

Making a weather vane and compass

The earliest weather vane we know about was in Greece in 48 BC, erected in honour of the Greek god Triton. It became quite popular for the houses of the wealthy Greeks around this time to have ...

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ACTIVITY

Measuring grip strength

In this activity, students examine and graph data for a sample of people tested for grip strength when the wrist is held at different angles. By the end of this activity, students should be able ...

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ACTIVITY

How long is it?

This teacher resource is a collection of length measurements found within the Science Learning Hub. Lengths range from the very small to the very big. Student activities can be developed from ...

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ARTICLE

Mass standard research in New Zealand

Scientists at the Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand (MSL) have developed a novel research approach to the international development of a new mass standard. This approach has ...

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ARTICLE

Dr Chris Sutton

Position: Scientist Field: Mass and related quantities Organisation: Measurement Standards Laboratory Chris studied at Victoria University, completing a BSc (Hons) in Physics and then a PhD in ...

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