Lesson Plan - Get It!
- What do you do with SUPER long numbers?
- Do you allow yourself to get a hand cramp and just write the whole thing?
If you answered "Yes," I have got some wonderful news for you! You can write very long numbers in a much shorter form using something called scientific notation.
Completing this lesson will show you just that!
Grab a piece of paper and pencil.
Take a minute and write the LONGEST number you can think of. (Okay, maybe not the longest because that could keep going and going, but jot down at least 15 digits!)
- Now, would you like to re-write that number over and over and over again?
No way! Not only would you get a hand cramp, you'd be so tired of writing numbers that you'd never want to do math again.
- What if I asked you to multiply, or divide, or even just add that 15-digit number?
- Well, guess what?
Most people aren't comfortable with numbers that big, and most calculators can't even hold a number that long!
It just so happens that something called scientific notation was created for really large (long!) numbers and really small (long decimal!) numbers. Let's take a look.
Start by watching this video by Tyler Dewitt called Scientific Notation: Introduction:
Numbers can take different forms.
Standard form: That is the number itself, fully expanded (ex. 1,200,000,000).
Scientific Notation: That is shown as a decimal number (with just 1 digit in front of the decimal place) times 10 to some power (ex. 1.2 x 109), as seen in the video.
While those examples from the video are fresh in your mind, let's move on to some practice in the Got It? section.