Units of Measurement

Units of Measurement

The kitchen may be the one room in which most people are most aware of the different systems and units of measurements used in the house and around the world. In the United States (U.S.), milk is bought by the gallon, sugar by the pound, soda by the liter, and cereal by the ounce. After you unpack your groceries you store some in the freezer at 0°F or indulge in a snack by baking a treat in your preheated oven at 350°F. As you can see, you can encounter many different units of measure just in the kitchen.

The units used to measure today have been used throughout history, but does everyone use the same standard system of measurement? Currently the U.S., Liberia, and Burma are the only countries that do not use the System Internationale (SI), or more commonly known as the metric system. The units of measurement in the U.S. are based on the English Imperial system.

To start this week’s Discussion pick out a simple recipe that is given in the English Imperial system (select one from the internet if you do not have one of your own) and address the following questions:

  1. Convert the ingredients in your recipe from its original imperial units into metric units. Post both the original and converted recipe in the same post so that your classmates and instructor can look at the differences. There is no need to post the preparation or cooking instructions—only the ingredients.
  2. Was it difficult to make the conversion from one system of units to the other? Why, or why not?
  3. Time to shift your focus to another system of measurements. Now, use an online mapping program to find out how far you will have to travel to get to one of Kaplan’s graduation ceremonies (in Chicago, IL or Miami, FL) from your hometown. Approximately how far in miles and in kilometers will you have to travel?
  4. What if you wanted to know what the distance would be in smaller units? In the imperial system you could convert miles into yards and feet. Using SI units you could convert kilometers into meters and centimeters.
    1. Convert the data from question 3 into the number of feet and meters you will have to travel.
    2. Which system (Imperial or SI) did you find easier to calculate the smaller distances in? Why?
  5. Humans have used different systems of measurement throughout history. Do some research on your own, and find a unit of measurement that you did not know about before and give a brief description of its history. Explain how to convert it into a unit of measurement that people would be familiar with today.

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