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Metric Measurement and Conversion Lab
Purpose: In this lab session, you will learn how to use instruments
to make quantitative observations and apply metric conversions.
Directions: Working with a partner, move to each station and
answer the questions on a sheet of paper. Be sure to include all
units and properly label each station.
Station 1 Length:
1. Find the length of the room in meters.
2. Convert the length to centimeters, then kilometers.
3. Find the width of the room in meters. ___________________m
4. Convert the width to cm, then kilometers.
5. Find the area of the floor in the room in square meters, then
square centimeters.
Area = length x width
= ___________________cm2
Station 2 Mass:
1. Find the mass of object A in grams using the electronic balance.
Then convert to kilograms and milligrams.
2. Find the mass of object B in grams using the electronic balance.
Then convert to kilograms and milligrams.
Station 3 Volume:
1. Find the volume of object A in cubic centimeters. L x W x H
Measuring volume by displacement:
-If you have an irregularly shaped object and you would like
to know the volume of this object, you can do so by
displacement. To do this:
a. Use a graduated cylinder that has a larger opening than the
size of the object.
b. Fill the graduated cylinder ½ full of tap water. Record the
volume of water in the cylinder.
c. Now tilt the graduated cylinder and slowly slide the object
into the water. Be careful not to splash.
d. Now record the volume of the water + object.
e. To determine the volume of the object, all you have to do is
subtract the 2 pieces of data collected.
2. Find the volume of the marble in milliliters and then covert to
cubic centimeters. 1 ml = 1 cm3
Volume before the marble _____________ml
marble _______________ml
Volume after the
Volume of the marble _______________ml =______________cm3
3. How much liquid is the graduated cylinder holding?
Station 4: Measuring Temperature
1. What is the temperature of the water in the beaker?
2. What is the temperature of the water in the beaker on
the hot plate? ____________°C
3. What is the difference in temperature? ____________°C
Convert the difference to Fahrenheit
F  C  32
Station 5: Length
Using a metric ruler: Record the length of your right index finger.
Record the length in millimeters. (You should have 2 decimal
places in your answer)
Length of right index finger:
_________mm=_______________cm = _____________dm
Using a meter stick determine your height in centimeters. Record
your height in meters.
Height: __________________ cm= ______________________m
Station 6: Reading Graduated Cylinders
Reading Instruments to the correct number of significant
When reading instruments,
you need to record the
reading to the correct
number of significant
figures. What this means is
that you are to record your
answers so that you record
all numbers you are sure of
in the measurement, plus
you are allowed one guess.
If the measurement appears
to be on a line, then the last
figure written should be a
1. To the right are sections
of graduated cylinders with
water in them. The units for
all of the measurements are
2. Read each graduated
cylinder and record the
measurement to the correct
number of significant
figures. Always state the figures you are sure of, plus one guess.
3. Make sure you record your measurements using the proper units.
4. Each of the graduated cylinders may be different from each other.
Station 7: Reading a Triple Beam Balance
Reading a balance: Below are 2 different types of balances.
Record the mass for each balance to the proper number of
significant figures. Make sure you use grams for your units.
Station 8: Practicing Scientific Notation and Sig. Figures
Convert the following numbers to/from scientific notation:
6.57 x 10-5
3.11 x 106
Solve the following problems to the correct number of sig. figs.
6.) 0.030210 x 2.56 =
7.) 5.21 x 0.31 =
8.) 10.12 – 6 =
9.) 15.1537 + 0.021 =
10.) 200 ÷ 15 =
Discussion Questions
1. Why is it important to use correct significant figures when recording measurements in a lab?
2. Look at the picture below. According to this picture, what is the length of the bolt in centimeters? How
many significant figures should your answer have? Explain to me why that is a correct measurement.
3. A man in front of you at Hobby Lobby is complaining to the check-out clerk because he asked for 1.75m of
fabric to be cut but instead got 175cm. Does he have a valid complaint? Why or why not?
4. You use a balance in the lab to record the mass of a beaker. The balance gives you a readout of 163.6 grams.
You write this down and move on with the experiment. Later on in the lab you measure the beaker's mass
again, but this time the scale gives you a readout of 166.3 grams. You assume that you must have misread the
instrument the first time. But is there an alternate plausible conclusion? If so, what could it be?