Video: Using Appropraite Levels of Accuracy for the Purpose of Measurement

Hannah wants to measure the capacity of a bucket as accurately as she can. Should she measure its capacity to the nearest gallon, quart, pint, cup, or fluid ounce?

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Video Transcript

Hannah wants to measure the capacity of a bucket as accurately as she can. Should she measure its capacity to the nearest gallon, quart, pint, cup, or fluid ounce?

The phrase “as accurately as she can” is telling us something important. When we’re working with capacity and accuracy, the smaller the unit of measure, the more accurate we will be. The smaller the unit of measure, the better the accuracy. In our list here, gallon, quart, pint, cup, fluid ounce, we need to choose the smallest unit of measure. So which of these measures is smallest?

Let’s start with the gallon. Inside a gallon, there are four quarts. This means that a gallon is not the smallest unit of measure because a quart is smaller than a gallon. If we keep going with our picture, inside each quart is two pints. A quart is not the smallest unit of measure because a pint is smaller than a quart.

The next step, inside every pint are two cups. Cups are smaller than pints. That means pint is not our smallest unit of measure. Inside each cup is eight fluid ounces. That means fluid ounces are smaller than cups. And it means that cup is not the smallest unit of measure in our list. Out of these five options, fluid ounces is the smallest.

Because fluid ounces is the smallest unit of measure on our list, it is the one that will most accurately measure the capacity of the bucket. The smaller the unit of measure, the better the accuracy.

In this case, our smallest unit of measure is the fluid ounce and that’s what Hannah can use to measure the capacity of a bucket most accurately.

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