Kathie Bowles
  This is the second activity of a three-part project on Industrial Measurement. The lessons could easily be combined into one learning activity or used separately as presented here. The lessons in the project are:
1. Using the industrial ruler 2. Using calipers to assess acceptable dimensions 3. Using micrometers in the workplace

  Adult basic education, Employability, Job skills, Mathematics

Learner Level:
  Appropriate for learners with competency in basic math skills.

Time Frame:
  1-2 hour session, depending upon learners' grasp of material presented.

Learner Grouping:
  Individual and small group

  I have a combination Families First/ABE class of anywhere from 7-10 students each day. They range in age from 18 to 77 and we meet from 8 AM to 12 PM. All have basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9) and half of those are in the credentialing level (9-12.9). The group can blend skills easily for team projects. They also all work well individually. Our setting is a large classroom with computers, conference tables, etc.

Families First is the Tennessee program to provide training for those welfare recipients who lack basic education skills. While learners do work toward a GED, emphasis in these classes is shifting toward the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners need to acquire and keep a good job.

  Smith County Families First/ABE

Type of Program:

Student Population Served:
  Basic skills, grade levels 5.0 - 8.9
Credentialing, grade levels 9.0 - 12.9

Industrial measurement: Using calipers to assess acceptable dimensions 

Participants learn how to use the calipers currently used for precise measurement in industrial settings. In this lesson, learners will work individually to analyze whether given objects would meet the correct specifications required for a particular manufactured product. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:

  • Learners will accurately measure several dimensions of common objects using calipers.
  • Learners will determine whether a manufactured product meets correct specifications for length, height, width, depth, and diameter based on the information furnished and their own observations

Primary Skill:
Using math to solve problems and communicate

Secondary Skills:
Observe critically, Learn through research

Learner Needs & Goals:  
Employees from several local companies attend joint classes to learn advanced measurement skills using industrial tools now required for advancement on their jobs.  This activity teaches one of those skills.

Learning Activity Description:
(1) Introduce the lesson and explain the importance of the activity. Ask learners:

  • Why is the correct measurement of products important?
  • Have you ever purchased a product that was not correctly measured?
  • What are some difficulties or consequences resulting from "imperfect" manufactured products.
(2) Give each participant a set of calipers (either direct or automatic: learners will later exchange to use both types), and an object to be measured (preferably a small tube or cylinder).

(3)  Demonstrate the proper usage of the calipers, showing how they are held for use. Explain the measurement divisions and markings. Demonstrate how to add and subtract those marks to get a set dimension. (See Handout 1, Measuring With Calipers.)

(4) Distribute Handout 1, “Measuring With Calipers” and the first learner worksheet you have previously prepared (See Teacher Handout 2 for suggestions on how to formulate problems for the learner worksheet).  The worksheet will have questions regarding the measurements of the object previously given to the learners. Learners make their measurements, write them down on Handout 1, and use the mathematical procedures necessary to arrive at an answer to the questions on the learner worksheet.

(5) Distribute a second teacher-prepared worksheet with questions to be answered Yes or No regarding the acceptability or usability of the objects measured. (Again use Teacher Handout 2 to formulate suitable questions.)

(6) Moderate a discussion with the class regarding what they've learned. Answer any questions they might have.

Materials and Resources:

Attachments: (For Internet Explorer users, right click on link then choose "Save target as". For Netscape users, just hold down the shift key and click on the link.)

    The assessment of the skill of measuring with calipers is formative. The instructor observes the work of the learners as they practice the skill, and the activity continues until learners are competent. Learners' correct completion of the second instructor-prepared worksheet demonstrates mastery of use of these skills to solve practical workplace problems.

    I believe the "hands-on" technique of this exercise gives the learners a sense of the importance of measurement in the workplace. By actually doing the measuring and analyzing themselves, they gain a better understanding of the usage of their newly acquired skills.


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