How to Take Measurements with Scales, Meters & Gauges

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  • 0:01 Measurements
  • 1:04 Measuring Weight
  • 1:53 Measuring Speed and Time
  • 3:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

In the real world, we take measurements all the time. Measurements are taken when you drive and when you weigh yourself, for example. Watch this video lesson to learn how you can take measurements of things that are important.

Measurements

Measurements are important in the real world. What are they? They are the numbers linked to things that show their size, amount, or magnitude. Without measurements, we wouldn't be able to describe how large our house is or how fast we can run.

To take our measurements, we have the use of just a few tools. We have scales that measure how much an object weighs when you put the object on the scale. An example of a scale is a bathroom scale that tells us how much we weigh. We also have meters that measure how much of something we have or are using by seeing how much we have used that particular thing over time. An example of a meter is a parking meter where it shows you how much time you have left.

Gauges also measure how much of something we have. Gauges are most often used in situations where the thing we are measuring changes all the time, such as in the measuring of volume of something we are using. The fuel gauge in your car is an example of a gauge.

Let's see how we can use our meters, scales, and gauges.

Measuring Weight

Whenever you go to the doctor, you get weighed. In this situation, a scale is used to determine how much you weigh. To use the scale, you simply step up onto the scale and you wait a few seconds until your weight is shown. You might see a needle that swings to your weight, and you will see the needle pointing to a number, such as 156 pounds, or you might see a digital readout that says 156 pounds. This is how you would use scales to measure other things, too.

When you go to the post office, for example, the workers there use a smaller scale to weigh letters and boxes, so they know how much weight to charge you for. What do they do? They place your letters and boxes one at a time onto the scale and wait for the measurement reading, so they know the weight of each piece. These postal scales usually give you a digital readout, such as 1.5 ounces.

Measuring Speed and Time

If you wanted to measure how much of something you have, such as how fast you are driving, you would use a meter. Whenever you drive, your car is actively calculating how fast you are going, and it shows it to you on the speedometer. The only thing you need to do to use the speedometer is to read it by looking at where the needle is. The area where the needle is pointing to tells you how much you have. If you are driving 35 miles per hour, then the needle will be pointing at 35.

If you drove yourself to a really popular place where you had to pay for parking, you might see parking meters in use. You put money into the meter, and it shows you how much time you have left. All you have to do to use a parking meter is to read the display. The meters do all the calculations for you. When you leave your car, you might see the meter telling you that you have 15 minutes of parking left.

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