Introduction to Biology
Measurement is the use of a set unit to describe a factor of the thing that we are studying. There are 6 things that we measure: mass, length, time, temperature, rate, and volume.
Mass is how heavy something is. It is measured in grams (g) or kilograms (kg). Length is the how long, wide or deep something is. It is measured in centimetres (cm), metres (m) and kilometres (km). Time is measured in seconds, minutes, and hours. Temperature is how hot or cold something is. Temperature is measured in degrees. Rate is how quickly something changes. It is usually measured in another unit per unit of time, for example kilometers per hour or grams per minute. Volume is the amount of space something takes up. It is usually measured in litres.
To take measurements of mass, temperature, pulse rate, and volume.
Spring balance*, thermometer (if available), plastic bottles, droppers*, dig-ital wrist watch or wall clock, cold water, warm water, beaker*, volumetric ask*, twine or rope, marker pen, a ruler, and sand.
1. Pour a known amount of water into the plastic bottles and write the volume in millilitres on the bottle.
1. Mark the rope at 10 cm intervals.
2. Record all of the following measurements.
3. Measure the temperature of the cold and warm water by using the thermometer, if available.
4. Measure the weight of sand using the spring balance.
5. Determine your pulse rate by placing your rst two ngers on your neck. This should be measured for one minute and recorded as beats per minute.
6. Measure your height by using the rope with marked intervals.
7. Measure the volume of the water in the bottle using the volumetric ask.
The data collected should re ect realistic values for the specimens.
1. Collect all the used materials, cleaning and storing items that will be used later. No special waste disposal is required.
There are several units used to measure length, weight and volume. It can be very difiult to convert units if you do not rst identify the unit measured in the question. Therefore, knowledge of measurements and their corresponding units will minimize the problems.