Scale, proportion, and quantity
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There are two major scales from which we study science: directly observable and those processes which required tools or scientific measurement to be quantified and studied. To understand scale, students must understand both measurement and orders of magnitude. Understanding of scale, proportion, and quantity will progress as children get older. Young children engage in relative measures such as hotter/colder, bigger/smaller, or older/younger without referring to a specific unit of measure. As students age, it is important that they recognize the need for a common unit of measure to make a judgement of scale, proportion, and quantity. Elementary students start building this knowledge through length measurements and gradually progress to weight, time, temperature or other variables. Intersection with key mathematical concepts is vital to help students develop the ability to assign meaning to ratios and proportions when discussing scale, proportion, and quantity in science and engineering. By middle and high school, students apply this knowledge to algebraic thinking and are able to change variables, understand both linear and exponential growth, and engage in complex mathematical and statistical relationships.