Home Depot teaches millennials to use tape measures


I am glad to fail the system then :smiley:


“The system has failed you/ don’t fail yourself!” (billy bragg!)


Many parents were apparently too lazy to teach millennials how to do even the most basic DIY projects like how to use a tape measure

Using a tape measure is a project? Is that like, a performance art project?

/s (many parents don’t teach their kids how to write either, but then, who would ever assume that’s their job?)


while i can’t speak to this as a global issue, i can speak to trends in texas over the last 25 years in education. when i first started teaching i taught math. measuring in both inches and centimeters was part of the 6th grade math curriculum at the time. the whole measurement concept was taught as a progression starting in kindergarten where they were taught about the idea of measuring by using various things to measure with like hands, feet, their whole bodies, and counting off various distances with these different ways of measuring. they were also given with no explanation some different wooden lengths to measure with too (rulers, yardsticks, and meter sticks). this was also applied to measuring volumes of water, beads, beans, etc. over the next two years the children were taught both directly and by experience why it was important to have standardized measurements which led to metric and english measuring systems and the various tools to do such measuring. in 2nd and 3rd grade students were expected to measure lengths to the nearest inch, 4th graders to the nearest half-inch and in centimeters, 5th graders to the nearest fourth-inch and in centimeters, sixth graders to the nearest eighth-inch and the nearest tenth of a centimeter. we spent a fair amount of time measuring things because we knew there would be questions on the high-stakes test about it and it was part of the curriculum.

in 2000 texas moved to a new curriculum, measuring was still a part of the math curriculum but the skill topped out at 4th grade and was not part of the curriculum after that grade. the kids did lots of measuring until 5th grade when it stopped because it wasn’t going to be tested like that and who has time to do something not tested.

in 2008 we moved to an even newer curriculum, one that was supposed to be more “rigorous.” actual measuring ended at 3rd grade and was the only grade it was tested. above 3rd grade “measuring” meant using measurements provided in the problem to calculate an area or a perimeter. he only students above 3rd grade who do actual measuring are kids who take a shop class.

seventeen years ago my state made a decision to go from lots of actual measuring through eighth grade to no actual measuring after 3rd grade. i’m sure the folks who wrote the curriculum would disagree with that characterization but the politicians who implemented that curriculum plus the testing regime and “accountability” regime that have gone along with it have strongly disincentivized doing anything that doesn’t actually appear on the test.

feel free to start blaming this on the teachers at any point if you like. it’s pretty standard for that to happen here in texas.


This (for inner measurements) is an interesting, relevant, and non-intuative trick I remember being happy to learn. Shame it wasn’t actually in this vid though.


Me too. I’m a long way from being new to tape measures, but had never thought to use one to draw a circle.


Don’t feel bad millennials, in our generation SNL featured the ‘Scotch Tape Store’.


I’d say problem solving is very much a useful skill in programming. I’d go so far as to say it’s the most important part of coding.


Yup. As a middle-aged man, more importantly 20 years a homeowner, I learned 2 things from one of those “5 Kool Things You Didn’t Know About Tape Measures” on the Yootubes. I check 'em all out now. Nothing wrong with learning something, or refreshing it.


Very clever (in a good way) on the part of these companies. Find out what the big searches are relevant to things you sell, put out instructional videos that hopefully will get a lot of hits, and embed enough self-promotional material that the thing also functions as an ad. A win-win for everyone involved.

I’m self-taught on home-maintenance (my parents used the phone), but it was easy because I had a basic grounding in tool use in school. I had a choice of woodshop or auto mechanics in high school, I chose the former which means I don’t know how to weld and leave critical car care (like brake adjustment) to professionals. My son did robotics, which means he did learn how to weld.


How dare you suggest that Kids These Days might be in some way related to parenting? All the best thinkpieces about millenial turpitude assure me that, to the degree that there is any relationship at all, it is purely a matter of how millenials always defied and ignored their elders and betters!


Occasionally actually a question. It isn’t a necessary feature, obviously; but when maybe $1 worth of parts, probably less, can allow your widget to throw a more or less perfectly straight line across the workpiece in conveniently visible laser red, it’s a handy feature to have.

Since the projected line is unruled and easy to shadow with your hand; it isn’t as useful as a ruler for short distances; but it is effectively perfectly rigid and weightless right up to whatever its maximum range is; something that rulers and measuring tapes most definitely are not.

(I say ‘more or less’ because, while the path of the laser beam is always straight, barring seriously alarming refraction in the local atmosphere, of the sort you should probably be worrying about rather than engaging in carpentry; some of the cheaper implementations don’t always have the laser module mounted quite accurately, in which case you get a straight line; but one at a slightly different angle than advertised.)


If you ask me, most people don’t know how to use a tape beyond simple measurement, millennial or otherwise.

I have a septuagenarian neighbor that talks all the time about his farm and shop, his tools etc etc.

One day I went and helped him spike some rafters for a porch roof he was building, and I swear he couldn’t even read the tape- his rafters weren’t remotely on layout, his posts weren’t square, and the ledger was allllll fucked up.

(FWIW I’m a millennial and I’ve worked in trades most of my adult life…)


from fall of 71 until january of 73 my father spent all of his spare time building a new house. he had professionals come and do some particular jobs but he had close friends in those specialties. anyway, from the time i was 10 until i was 12 i played with rulers, levels, carpenter’s squares, etc all the time. i learned a lot about measurement and using tools during this time. i’m not handy but when i do occasionally do a small project i can do it right.

by contrast, i saw a kid in the hall of my school measuring things with a carpenter’s folding ruler and a passing teacher took it from from her, told her it was too dangerous to have at school, and then told her she was giving it to the offices and she could ask them when or whether she could have it back. i didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.


I’ve seen Gordon Brown do this:

only problem is that creme fraiche is more of a European ingredient.

one of the reasons why I like American cookbooks-- the “everyday” ingredients are easier to find.


I will when they, not politicians, dictate public school curriculum.

That’s true, she might learn something with it. /s

Yup, people who know useful things know them because they keep learning, not because they burst forth fully programmed from their childhood so they could snark at the ignorance of others.


I really, really, REALLY wish they would bring back shop class.
We had a great program in my school:
7th grade everyone did both “industrial arts” and “home ec”
IA had power mechanics (take apart and rebuild a 2 stroke lawnmower engine), metal shop, wood working, architecture. HE had typing, sewing, cooking.

In 8th grade you picked either IA or HE and did more of the same, basically. You could then keep on in regular highschool, or switch to vo-tech.

If nothing else, basic safety and respect of power tools would do my students a world of good. And a lot of students are sold on the “you HAVE to get a 4 year degree. Because college is where you’ll learn skills so you can get a job.” A lot of them would be happier in a skilled trade, AND a lot less in debt.


Kids nowadays! Back when I was a kid, we played with rocks and we liked it!



I’d argue it’s less on the curriculum and more on the parents. I never expected the boy’s school to teach him to use a tape measure. That stuff was my job. And I’m the proud Gen X parent of a kid who built most of the furniture in his apartment and drives a stick. Shrug.