Math 8+ students are mastering their scientific notation skills this week as they calculate how many times they’ve blinked in their lifetime. And more importantly, how to display that number in math shorthand. According to Mrs. Parker, “scientific notation is the most efficient way to express really large and really small numbers, like billions or very tiny decimal values.”
Students first observed their partner for sixty seconds in order to count the number of blinks per minute. Next, they used this number to calculate the average number of blinks per hour, per day, and for their lifetime. The activity was a fun means to help students understand scientific notation, how to write it, why we need it, and how it displays differently on a scientific calculator vs. a cell phone calculator.