Math in Science: Comparing Metric Units of Mass and Weight

What units should you use for mass and weight? Be sure to weigh your choices carefully. Viewers first discover the difference between mass and weight in the second installment of an 11-part Math in Science video series. They then learn about units for mass based on grams.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Provide a copy of the metric staircase in the video for viewers to fill in
Classroom Considerations

  • If developmentally appropriate, identify Newtons as a metric unit of weight
  • Be sure learners understand powers of ten and decimal notation for small and large numbers as they are used to denote units
Pros

  • Identifies common objects that have certain masses
Cons

  • Video distinguishes between mass and weight but fails to use different units (incorrectly uses kilograms for both mass and weight)
  • Staircase analogy makes it seem like differences in units are constant