The U.S. Needs to Convert to the Metric System

If the United States dropped the Imperial System of math (which even Great Britain no longer uses) and switched to the metric system, math would be so much easier for our children. PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Nearly everyone loves to stick with things that are comfortable and familiar. Often, we are distrustful of anything that seems new or foreign to us. For this reason, the United States has found itself stuck with an archaic math system that holds back our young people and makes math much more difficult than it needs to be.

While many adults have dug in their heels at the idea of converting to the metric system, nearly everyone knows how to use it. Our money, clearly divided into units of tens and hundreds, is based on the metric system. Unfortunately, we continue to insist that we use the old fashioned system of pints, quarts, gallons, feet, inches and yards to measure everything else. This is one of the reasons why our children do so much worse on international math tests than children in other countries … even many students from developing countries.

Our lack of knowledge of the metric system has caused other problems, as well. These problems make it all the more obvious that the U.S. needs to convert to the metric system:

* We teach our children one system of math in school. Then, if they go into a career in medicine, science, auto technology, computer technology, engineering, the military or a host of other occupations, they are required to learn the metric system as an adult. It would be far easier to teach only the metric system from the beginning.

* Since EVERY other country in the world already uses the metric system, many critical errors have been made because so few U.S. citizens know how to correctly convert from our Imperial System to the Metric system. For example, in 1983, a Boeing 767 jet actually ran out of fuel and crashed, simply because a ground crew underestimated the amount of fuel that was needed on an Air Canada flight. That was not the only such incident. In 1999, NASA lost a Mars orbiter. The reason? One engineering team used metric measurements and another team used the Imperial System.

* There have also been medical incidents that are attributed to people confusing the amount of medication that should be used … since the prescription dosage was written in milligrams, but the patients tried to use a teaspoon to measure the amount. In some cases, new medical personnel may have made critical errors. No one knows how many medical mistakes may have been caused by the failure of people to correctly use metrics.

Do Americans really believe we are too dumb to learn metrics … when it is the easiest math system there is? Don’t we think our children could pick it up? After all, even children in remote villages of China, South America and Africa have been able to learn metrics with little problem.

We need to have more faith in ourselves and truly move forward into the 21st Century!

#MetricSystem #MathEducation

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