ABE Lab

Springfield Adult Learning Center

Metric Conversion: Meters and Kilometers

The metric system is a popular set of units for measuring, length, mass, and time.

In this activity we will learn how to convert between two different metric units of length; the meter (m), and the kilometer (km).

What is a Meter (m)?

  • A unit of length in the Metric System.
  • The symbol for meter is (m).
  • 1 meter is equal to 100 centimeters.

The length of a guitar is about 1 meter:

The length of a guitar is about 1 meter

What is a Kilometer (km)?

  • A unit of length in the Metric System.
  • The symbol for kilometer is (km).
  • 1 kilometer is equal to 1,000 meters.

The total length of the George Washington Bridge in New York City is 1.45 km (1,450 m):

The total length of the George Washington Bridge in New York City is 1.45 km

Converting Meters into Kilometers

We know that 1,000 m = 1 km.

Therefore, use division to convert meters into kilometers.

Always divide the number of meters you're trying to convert by 1,000:

m ÷ 1,000 = km

Let's look at an example:

9,140 meters converted into kilometers is  9.14 km 

Formula:

m ÷ 1,000 = km

Formula for converting meters into kilometers

Calculations:

9,140 m ÷ 1,000 = 9.14 km

Result:

9,140 m is equal to 9.14 km

Converting Kilometers into Meters

We know that 1 km = 1,000 m.

Therefore, use multiplication to convert kilometers into meters.

Always multiply the number of kilometers you're trying to convert by 1,000:

km × 1,000 = m

Let's look at an example:

13.50 kilometers converted into meters is  13,500 m 

Formula:

km × 1,000 = m

Formula for converting kilometers into meters

Calculations:

13.50 km × 1,000 = 13,500 m

Result:

13.50 km is equal to 13,500 m

Activity

Click the 'start activity' button below to practice converting between meters and kilometers.

Calculator Tips:

  • Use the decimal key when calculating numbers with decimal points.
Calculator decimal button
  • Use the clear key to erase the last number or operation entered.
Calculator clear button

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