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Standards Spotlight

Views of Real-World Impact

ANSI shines a spotlight on Standards in action as they support safety, efficiency and well-being in interesting aspects of everyday life.

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Back to School With Standards


The days are starting to get noticeably shorter as the summer winds down, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for students to pack up their backpacks, open books, and head back to school. This school year might look a little different for everyone, but the goal of learning new things remains the same. Whether school takes the form of in-person, virtual, or a hybrid learning models, standards support students’ success.

Standards that Support Going Back to School

A new school year means new supplies, including writing instruments. ISO 9180:1988, Black Leads For Wood-Cased Pencils -- Classification And Diameters, specifies classification and diameters for black leads used for wood-cased pencils. There's also a standard for those who prefer mechanical pencils to traditional wooden ones. ISO 20318-1:2019, Mechanical Pencils And Leads For General Use - Classification, Dimensions, Quality And Test Methods - Part 1: Mechanical Pencils, specifies classification, dimensions, quality, and test methods for hand-held mechanical pencils which hold and feed out a lead, and are used for general writing. Both standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical committee (TC) 10, Technical product documentation, of which the U.S. is a participating member. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) administers the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory (TAG) to ISO TC 10.

Getting new school supplies means that students will also need a way of carrying all those supplies and books from place to place. Backpacks carry not only schoolwork but also many items for extracurricular activities such as a sport. Therefore, when buying a backpack, one might assess the backpack’s capacity and match it one’s personal needs. ASTM F2153-07(2018), Standard Test Method For Measurement Of Backpack Capacity, determines and standardizes an unextended and extended capacity for backpacks and related bags. This test method was designed to provide a means whereby manufacturers and consumers may have a consistent means to compare pack volumes. ASTM International’s Subcommittee F08.22 on camping softgoods developed this standard. ASTM International is an ANSI member and audited designator.

For some, the classroom might look a little different this year. For schools that have the available space, classes might move into larger spaces to allow for social distancing. No matter the size of the classroom, the instructor wants to ensure students can hear them from every corner. ANSI/ASA S12.60/Part 1-2010 (R2020), Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, And Guidelines For Schools, Part 1: Permanent Schools, is applicable to core learning spaces and classrooms with interior volumes not exceeding 566 m3 (20 000 ft3) and to ancillary learning spaces of any volume. The standard was developd by Accredited Standards Committee S12, Noise, which is part of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), an ANSI-accredited standards developer and ANSI member.

A number of standards also support virtual education settings, as ANSI highlighted earlier this year.

Standards may be the last thing students are thinking about as they head back to school this year, but they work behind the scenes to ensure that the learning experience is as safe and seamless as it could possibly be during this time. From standards that support the classroom environment to standards that support the tools you use in the classroom, standards are worth learning about.


Related News:

With Online Learning Here to Stay (For Now), Standards Support Virtual Education Settings