# What is the Metric System

## What is "SI"? What does it stand for?

SI is a standard for measuring mass, length, volume, and other quantities. SI stands for Système Internationale d’Unités. It was developed in late 18th century. At first length was only measured by meter, gram for weight, and liter for capacity.

## Why the SI units and the metric system important

All systems of weights and measures are linked to the SI. The metric system is used in a lot of things we see everyday.

Below is a picture of the metric system.

## SI base units and abbreviations

The base units are meter(M), kilogram(kg), second(sec.), ampere(amp), kelvin(K), candela(cd), mole(mM).

## Metric unit stair step

Steps that have measurements that get larger if you go up or to left and smaller if you go down or to the right. The stair step helps people move decimals and convert.

Below is a picture of the stair step.

## Acronym for stair step

(K)angaroo's (H)opped (D)own (B)ritain (D)elivering (C)aterpillar (M)ilk

## stair step, going from something smaller to larger

If you go up on the stair step, to make the measurement larger, you move the decimal to the left however many steps you moved on the stair step.

## stair step going from something larger to smaller

If you go down on the stair step, you move the decimal to the right however many steps you moved on the stair step.

Below is a picture showing which way is smaller and which way is larger on the stair step.

## 8 examples using the stair step

5 centimeters is 0.5 decimeters. 10 milliliters is 0.001 decaliters. 6 decimeters is 0.006 hectometers. 4 millimeters is 0.04 decimeters. 15 kilometers is 150 hectometers. 7 hectometers is 70,000 centimeters. 2 kilometers is 20,000 decimeters. 11 decameters is 11,000 centimeters.
With this information you will know how the metric system stair step works. You will also know more information on the SI units and the metric system.

## Resources

What Is SIDS? Vienna, VA: National SIDS/ Infant Death Resource Center, 2004. Web,

"The Metric SystemUnits, Definitions and History." Metric System, SI. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014,

"Units: The International System." Units: The International System. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.,

"The Metric System." The Metric System. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.,

"Metric Conversion Using the Metric Stairs." Metric Conversion Using the Metric Stairs. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.