Understanding the Metric System
Visit Metric Beach
September 14, 2022
The metric system is a very common first subject of the new school year. So have some fun with it. How far in centimeters can they blow a straw wrapper? How many grams of marbles can they hold in one hand? How many milliliters of water can one water balloon hold?
Children and adults are more likely to learn novel concepts in the context of their everyday lives. Converting Fahrenheit to Celsius by subtract 32 and multiply by 0.5556 is not going to be as applicable as remembering the day your AC went out during that 40°C heat wave last year
Visit Metric Beach. Can you make the conversions?
The weather today is a perfect 30°C - beach weather! You tell your 4 year old you’re going to Metric Beach and they jump 20 centimeters into the air. They are only one meter tall so they are pretty impressed with themselves.
You gather the towels, pails, shovels and snacks. You wrangle the swimsuit on and are thankful to be past the 10°C jacket, glove and missing hat routine. Hoisting your 20kg child into the car is becoming tough and you remember you need to get a new booster seat before they grow another 10kg.
You take the highway but drive in the slow lane and a cool 100 km/hr while everyone else cruises by at 120 km/hr in the lane to your left. No rush on beach day.
First step… sunscreen. You smother 25mL of sun protection all over your little one; despite their protest. Next you get 50mL on yourself. Your 4 year old has taken their first step into the sand and it has awoken the beach beast inside them. While you balance the 50+ supplies needed to leave the home your beach beast is in a full 10km/hr sprint through the sand.
They are running through an active volleyball game and clear all 18m of the court without getting kicked, trampled or worse. Unfortunately, an out of bounds shot connects the 250g volleyball with your toddler's head and the tears start streaming.
You wipe off the sand (I guess you’ll be reapplying sunscreen early) and clear the 25mL of snot and tears generated by this rouge volleyball. All five liters of your blood is boiling at the teenagers who spiked the ball but you know it’s not their fault.
“Let’s get you cleaned up an have a snack”
Your little one chugs all 500 grams (0.5kg) of the water bottle you give them without taking a single breath. As they pant, you secretly wonder if they will ever learn to breathe when they drink or if you’ll just find them passed out next to a Capri Sun in the kitchen one day. You snuck in a bottle of wine that fits perfectly in your 750mL hydro flask. You pour yourself what’s supposed to be one serving (150mL) of wine in a well disguised cup and think to yourself, “It’s beach day,” and top it off to your normal 250mL pour.