The US Metric Association (USMA), Inc., is a national non-profit organization that was founded in 1916. USMA advocates completing the US conversion to the International System of Units, known by the symbol SI (ess-eye) and also called the metric system. The process of changing measurement units to the metric system is called metric transition or metrication.
What’s New: Updated Information by Date
2016-05-18: Don’t forget World Metrology Day, 20 May! See USMA’s metric-system-related events and anniversaries page.
2016-05-05: New signs added for Rockville MD and Bohemia NY to the Metric signs on roads in the US page.
2016-05-04: New Brie cheese product added to the Consumer products available in metric sizes page.
2016-04-19: PDF of the 2016-May/June issue of Metric Today is now available online for USMA members.
2016-02-26: PDF of the 2016-March/April issue of Metric Today is now available online for USMA members.
2015-12-23: PDF of the 2016-January/February issue of Metric Today is now available online for USMA members.
2015-10-16: PDF of the 2015-November/December issue of Metric Today is now available online for USMA members.
2015-09-01: PDF of the 2015-September/October issue of Metric Today is now available online for USMA members.
If you live in New York State:
New York State is the only US jurisdiction that has not yet adopted the 1999 amendment to the Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulation (UPLR) that permits the option of eliminating non-metric units from labels of products not regulated by the federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). Please contact USMA’s PR Director if you are willing to help with this cause.
Is Your Company or Organization Going Metric?
We’d Like to Know
Perhaps your hospital is changing over to measuring patients’ height and weight in metric units only, or your company’s product line is going hard metric. We’d be very interested in the how and the why. And, with your permission, we’ll tell your story in our newsletter, Metric Today. Please contact USMA.
Information About USMA
USMA and its Services
- USMA mission and activities (Why we exist, and what we do)
- A brief history of the US Metric Association (1916 to the 2010s)
- USMA’s Certified Metrication Specialist (CMS) program (How to become qualified)
- USMA’s Science Fair awards program (Become a judge, use your metric talents)
- USMA’s E-mail Listserver (Mailing List) (Join the metric discussion. You can subscribe free.)
- USMA member-only information (Must be a current dues-paying member to access this information. USMA members may receive the password (changed yearly) by contacting USMA.)
Publications and Supplies
- Metric Today, the USMA newsletter (USMA’s bi-monthly publication)
- Metric supplies and training aids (Available from USMA: style/usage guides, rulers, thermometers, measuring tapes, posters, diagrams, bumper stickers, and booklets) [PDF version: supplies-list.pdf]
- Guide to the Use of the Metric System (Our primary metric publication)
- Metric Bibliography and Metric Today Archive (Metric information available for research purposes)
- Metrication resources for businesses (Help for business/government members converting to metric)
- Metric posters (Here’s what’s available from USMA)
- USMA’s educational materials (See below, or click on this link)
- USMA membership application (How to join us, how to help the cause) [PDF version: membership.pdf]
- USMA officers (USMA’s organizational leaders)
Metric System Information:
Why use the metric system:
- FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions (Answers to miscellaneous questions about the metric system)
- Decimal nature of the metric system (Why decimal is better)
- How going metric pays off (Stories of successful transition to metric)
- Unit mixups (Incidents, and in some cases costly disasters, that involved confusion between units or systems of measurement)
Using the Metric System
- Commonly used metric system units, symbols, and prefixes (The basics of the metric system)
- Detailed list of units, symbols, and prefixes, plus SI unit diagrams (Charts showing relationships)
- SI prefixes and their etymologies (Origins of the prefix names)
- SI unit definitions (Official definitions, both current and previous)
- Correct SI-metric usage (Including metric errors seen frequently)
- Metric temperature scales (Degrees Celsius and kelvins)
- Glossary of metric acronyms (initialisms, and abbreviations)
Background & History
- Origin of the metric system (From its origins to becoming adopted by most of the world)
- A chronology of the metric system (Important dates and associated documents in the history of the metric system)
- Metric-system-related events and anniversaries (Some are observed each year)
- Metric system laws and bills (Extensive law summaries provided courtesy of USMA member Gary Brown.)
- Metrication in other countries (Advance of metric usage in the world, and how several other countries have changed to metric)
- Recent international metric advances (What is changing metrically outside of the US)
- Logos used in various metric transitions (Take the quiz and learn about metric progress around the world.)
- Decimal currency systems (Used throughout the world)
For Your Information
- Reference publications: International System of Units (SI) (Important metric documents and standards: SI-metric usage guides, a few are free, some contain large tables of unit conversion factors.)
- Published articles about the metric system, metrication, and related standards
- Consumer products available in metric sizes (Examples of rational metric sizes/metric fills)
- Metric signs on roads in the US (Some were installed in the 1970s, others are much newer)
- Our world in (metric) numbers
- Metric system cartoons (Examples of metric humor)
Things You Can Do:
- Things you can do to promote metrication in the US
- How to contact your legislators (Senate, House of Representatives, and White House)
Metric System Information for Teachers/ Educators:
- Why teach the metric system (SI)? (Contributed by USMA member Dennis Brownridge)
- Using the metric system (SI) (A guide for teachers, students, and professionals provided by USMA member Dennis Brownridge.)
- National Metric Week (The history of, and quizzes and puzzles for use during this annual event and throughout the year.)
- Tips to educators for teaching the metric system, and ideas for schools celebrating National Metric Week (Ideas and lesson suggestions)
- Suggestion to teachers for a painless way to teach one facet of SI (Metric Patrol assignment sheets and work sheets are included to make it easier for teachers to implement this assignment.)
- Teaching metric to very young children (K-2)
- One school’s experience in teaching math and science through Olympic Games competition
- Decimal nature of the metric system (Why decimal is better)
- Metric flashcards (PDF version): Basic and Advanced (Courtesy of USMA member Jim Elwell)
NEED METRIC SUPPLIES
USMA offers a selection of books, charts, posters, rulers, measuring tapes, bumper stickers, and thermometers specifically for learning the metric system.
These and more items can be found on USMA’s
metric supplies and training aids page.
Your comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome.
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