Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Wonder Team. Wonder Team Wonders, “Why do measurements matter?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonder Team!

Do you like to measure things? From early on in our lives, we learn to keep track of all kinds of things. For example, we often want to be taller. We can’t wait until that day when we’re finally as tall as an older sibling or a grandparent.

We also often keep track of time. When you get older, birthdays aren’t as fun as when you’re young. Do you remember keeping track of half-birthdays? When you’re young, there’s a big difference between three and three-and-a-half!

If you stop to think about it for a bit, you’ll realize that measurements surround you on all sides. And guess what? They matter! They’re there for a reason.

We measure and keep track of time every minute of the day. Do those seconds, minutes and hours count? They sure do. If you want to watch your favorite television show, you’d better know what time it comes on. Likewise, you need to know when school starts or you’ll be late!

We also gauge our health based upon all sorts of measurements. Some common examples include height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure. These measurements can tell a doctor a lot about your overall health.

There are probably very few, if any, areas of your life that you couldn’t find relevant measurements. When you head to the kitchen to cook, for example, measurements are very important. If you don’t think so, just try throwing ingredients in a bowl without paying attention to the recipe’s measurements. You might be surprised at what comes out of the oven!

When you go on vacation, you probably keep your eye on those signs that count down the miles until you reach your destination. You may even do some mental calculation with your current speed to guess when you’ll arrive.

One day, if you take a woodworking class, you’ll be reminded of why measurements matter. You’ll probably hear an old proverb right off the bat: “measure twice, cut once.” This is good, solid advice that you can apply to all the areas of your life, not just woodworking.

“Measure twice, cut once” speaks to the ideas of preparation and action. Acting without thinking can often result in disaster. If you pick up a piece of wood and a saw and start cutting without measuring, you’ll likely end up with a piece of wood that doesn’t suit your purposes.

How can you avoid this? Prepare! Measure twice before you cut, and you’ll only have to cut once! Another way to think about it is like this: It takes less time to prepare in advance than it does to fix mistakes after you make them. Utilizing the proper measurements—and checking and rechecking them before acting—can benefit us in so many areas of our lives.

Want to keep your car running smoothly? Measure the amount of oil in the engine and make sure it’s got the right amount. You can also measure the air in the tires to make sure they’re fully inflated. All of these things will help you maximize another key measurement: your gas mileage!

As you can see, measurements matter in all areas of life. They also add elements of science, technology, and math into areas that might otherwise seem completely unrelated to those subjects. Keep your eyes open for the rest of the day and you’ll notice how many areas of your life involve or are affected by measurements of all kinds!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1

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