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Position Statement

Use of the Metric System

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The efficiency and effectiveness of the metric system has long been evident to scientists, engineers, and educators. Because the metric system is used in all industrial nations except the United States, it is the position of the National Science Teachers Association that the International System of Units (SI) and its language be incorporated as an integral part of the education of children at all levels of their schooling. Therefore, we recommend that the following actions be taken:


  • We assume responsibility for leadership in teaching the metric system.
  • We urge that use of the metric system be integrated into all curriculum subjects and at every grade level.
  • We recognize that the use of the customary units will persist for some time, especially in the early grades, but will encourage the use of the metric system whenever possible.
  • We urge the re-establishment of the U.S. Metric Board to support and encourage the use of the metric system nationwide.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, January 1999,
Reaffirmed by the Board of Directors, February 2016

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