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Students measure a variety of objects in both metric and English systems. It is recommended that everyone in the group take each measurement and they then average them to obtain the most accurate measurement for the item. The next step is to create the ratios, convert them to decimals to two places and then average all the like decimals. Example all the measurements for the 5 small objects would be averaged to find the best estimate for the conversion factor for centimeters and inches. Using their conversion factors, they then convert a variety of measures. Finally, they are asked to look up the actual conversion factor and determine how accurately they were able to determine it. • General Notes: o Student may need to have directions on how to accurately measure. o A review of factions may be needed so that they can accurately measure 1 yard 15 inches and 1 15/36 yards or 1 5/12 yards. o This activity can be used in a beginning algebra course by having the students graph the measure of the objects in metric and English units. Let x = the English unit and y = the metric. The conversion factor is then the slope of the line.
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If the students plot the points with English units on the horizontal and Metric on the vertical, the slope of the best fit line will also give the conversion factor. This may be more appropriate for a beginning algebra class.