Why use Scientific Notation?

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Videos, worksheets, stories and songs to help Grade 6 students learn about scientific notation.

How to make sense of scientific notation
Introduce scientific notation for describing numbers and concepts from the infinitesimal to the seemingly infinite.
Learn how to convert in and out of scientific notation in these step by step examples.

Scientific Notation is used when numbers that are very large. The numbers do not have to be just large in value, just with many place values. Numbers like 152,000,000,000 and 0.0000000000456 are good examples of numbers that would be expressed using scientific notation.
Scientific Notation (Math Song)
Some numbers are really big
Some numbers are really small
I wish there was a way to easily express them all!

Hey! I found there's an easy way
To show extremes scientifically
Scientific notation does it easily
And now I love science more than I ever did before, can't you see?

Express your number so that it's more than one but less than 10
Take that number and multiply it by 10 to the proper exponent
300 in scientific notation is 3 times 10 to the power of 2
10 to the power of 2 is 100 x 3 that's 300 so there's your proof

Scientific notation uses exponents
With a base of 10
So you don't have to write out so many zeros again, and again, and again

Take a number like 0.0023
Plug it in to "a times 10 raised to the power of b"
Where a equals 2.3 and b is negative 3
You get 2.3 times 10 raised to the power of negative 3

Express your number so that it's more than one but less than 10
Take that number and multiply it by 10 to the proper exponent
0.03 in scientific notation is 3 times 10 to the negative 2
10 to the negative 2 is 0.01 x 3 that's 0.03 so yeah, there's your proof

Express your number so that it's more than one but less than 10
Take that number and multiply it by 10 to the proper exponent
When you use scientific notation you become a real hero
What's 5.2? It's not a trick it's 5.2 times 10 to the power of 0

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