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USMA mission and activities

The following summary of the mission and activities of the US Metric Association (USMA) is intended to show why it's worth becoming a member in order to support these activities and perhaps to become involved in some of these activities.

It is important to be aware that paying dues and belonging to an association is a two-way street. It brings benefits to the members and allows them to support issues they believe in. At the same time, there are activities for the advancement of the goals of the association that individuals cannot possibly do alone. Dues paid by members provide the funds for the organization to carry out such activities.

Mission of the USMA

The US Metric Association (USMA) advocates completion of the ongoing US conversion to the metric system, officially known as the International System of Units (SI).

To accomplish this mission, the purpose and objectives for which the corporation is organized shall be:
(From the Metric Association Articles of Incorporation, Colorado, 1973)

  1. To furnish a national medium for uniting the efforts of individuals, societies, educational and research institutions, professional associations and government agencies interested in promoting the use of the metric system of measurement.
  2. To determine the best ways and means for the adoption of the metric system in the United States.
  3. To prepare, publish and otherwise disseminate such information to the general public as will set forth the advantages of early adoption and use of the metric system.
  4. To prepare and publish training aids for teaching the metric system in schools and to the general public.
  5. To broaden and sustain interest in the use of the metric system by means of meetings, lectures, discussions and audio-visual education and to publish bulletins, pamphlets, newsletters and correspondence.
  6. To offer citations and awards to individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions in the promotion of the use of the metric system.

Status of metric usage in the United States (a summary)

Many people do not realize the extent of metric usage in the United States. Here are some facts about metric in the US:

Metrication activities of the USMA (a summary)

Activities of the USMA (in more detail)

1. Cooperation with Government

USMA has developed lines of communication with people in positions of authority in federal and state governments, both legislative and executive branches. These people have provided valuable support in the progress toward full metrication of the US

These government people rely on and respect the authoritative news and information from USMA which may not be available to them through other channels. They use that information to assist them in their efforts to promote metrication. Because these lines of communication were well established, and because USMA leaders are recognized for their authoritative knowledge of the metric system and related issues, these USMA leaders have, on numerous occasions, been called upon to testify before (or otherwise present information to) Congressional committees and other legislative and regulatory bodies.

Through this coordination with people in government, USMA has been effective in accomplishing metric conversion gains which otherwise might not have occurred. USMA's efforts on behalf of the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 were recognized by President Gerald Ford's awarding, to USMA, a commemorative pen which was used to sign that bill. USMA's work toward the metric transition also helped ensure the inclusion in the 1988 Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of a mandate that all government agencies convert to metric by 1992.

USMA was one of the main forces in getting the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act amended in 1992 to require metric in package labels. It was necessary to compromise so that the act also required inch-pound contents to be given, but at least the FPLA now states that metric units must be included on labels.

USMA's affiliations with people in authority in state and federal government also serve to provide the USMA with up-to-date information on a variety of metric developments. This information is then reported in the association's newsletter, Metric Today, keeping the USMA membership well informed.

2. Files of Metric Information

USMA maintains the largest collection of metric data available, consisting of historical files, contemporary data, and detailed technical data. From these files, USMA has furnished a wide variety of metric information to thousands of companies, businesses, government personnel, educators, consumers, the news media and others over the years.

3. Internet Services

USMA maintains a Website which supplies much useful information to anyone accessing it. This Website earned the Los Angeles Times PICK for excellence. Included in USMA's Internet operations is a metric Listserver (Mailing List) that is open to anyone for the exchanging of metric information and comments by email. The Website is accessible at: http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/ or by the shorter alias http://www.metric.org.

4. Publishing of Metric Today

USMA publishes Metric Today, an authoritative, bi-monthly newsletter that goes to all members, to keep them up to date on current metric developments in the US and worldwide.

5. Metric Supplies and Information

USMA also makes available many metric supplies that can be used by companies to train employees and by educators to train students in using SI. Included is an easy-to-use Guide to the Use of the Metric System. In addition, USMA has a large number of puzzles and quizzes and the like that you can download and print.

6. Science Fair Award

To help keep metrication foremost in educational fields, USMA provides awards for the best use of SI by students at over 200 regional science fairs each year. Supporting the science fair award is a small group of USMA members who volunteer to judge entries for the metric award.

7. Services of Members

A number of USMA members provide services to industry, education, and other sectors by making metric presentations at conferences and meetings and providing metric training for companies and schools. They help build metric awareness in every community sector with all types of activities. Following are just a few of these activities: writing letters to the editors of newspapers; writing to their Congressional representatives with well-informed support of metric issues; presenting the pro-metric point-of-view in talks to school groups and civic groups; being interviewed by the news media and participating in TV interview shows, etc.

USMA members are well-informed for handling these types of activities due to their membership in the association, their coordination with other members and particularly as a result of their receiving the newsletter, Metric Today. USMA and its members also cooperate with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in sponsoring National Metric Week each year in the calendar week containing the date “10/10” (October tenth).

8. Metrication Specialist Certification

USMA sponsors a Certified Metrication Specialist (CMS) program that allows people to become certified as metrication specialists or advanced metrication specialists by being well versed in SI and taking a stringent test to verify it. This establishes the credentials of people who seek jobs or positions in which knowledge of the metric system is a major factor.

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Copyright © 1998-2014, US Metric Association (USMA), Inc. All rights reserved.
Web hosting courtesy of Colorado State University.
Some material prepared by Dr. Bill Hooper, CAMS, with the helpful assistance and cooperation of Ms. Valerie Antoine, USMA Executive Director, and Ms. Lorelle Young, USMA President.
Website maintained by USMA Webmaster.
Updated: 2014-11-18