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Choosing Appropriate Units with Scientific Notation


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Basics on the topic Choosing Appropriate Units with Scientific Notation

Choosing Appropriate Units with Scientific Notation -- Learn how to determine the most appropriate units with numbers in scientific notation.

Transcript Choosing Appropriate Units with Scientific Notation

"Wow, Kai, that was some hike up Mount Crumble!" "You weren't joking when you said we would be getting in a workout, but I had no idea what a hike like this would entail!" Kai and Penny will be 'choosing appropriate units with scientific notation' to see what they have accomplished on their hike. Remember, scientific notation is a way to express very large or very small numbers using powers of ten. We can use our knowledge of powers of ten to help us compare numbers in scientific notation. However, it is also important to remember to choose appropriate units when comparing and interpreting any numbers. Keeping this in mind, let's look at Kai and Penny's post-hike stats that have been recorded on each of their smartwatches. According to Kai's stats, the distance that the pair hiked is seen here. When Penny looks at her watch, the distance hiked is displayed as this. If we look at these numbers in standard form, Kai's watch will report two hundred sixty-six thousand, one hundred twelve inches hiked. And Penny's would be four and two-tenths miles. They hiked the same exact distance, so these numbers are equivalent, but using different units. In this case, Penny's watch stats give a more APPROPRIATE unit of measure for the hike. With this kind of distance, using miles is easier to understand. Kai and Penny next scroll to the stat on TIME to see how long their hike ultimately was. According to Kai's smartwatch stats, the hike lasted this many days. Penny's watch recorded the hike to be three and nine-tenths times ten to the second power minutes long. These numbers in standard form are written as. If we had to choose between these two measurements, the minutes would be MORE appropriate of the two because, again it is easier to comprehend. However, there would be an even MORE appropriate unit here to measure the hiking time. Pause the video here to think if you can come up with a better unit of measurement. Hours! Three hundred and ninety minutes can be divided by sixty, which equals six and a half hours, making it a more appropriate unit for measuring time in this context. The last stat that Kai and Penny will look at is the elevation of Mount Crumble. Kai's stats report that the elevation they gained was one and seven hundred four thousandths multiplied by ten to the power of three feet. Penny's report is in inches and is two and four hundred forty-eight ten thousandths times ten to the fourth power. Pause here, and determine which hiker's measurements would be appropriate to measure the elevation of a mountain. Kai's smartwatch measurement of one thousand seven hundred four feet is more appropriate when measuring the elevation of a mountain. Let's summarize what we have learned. Scientific notation is a way to express very large or very small numbers using powers of ten. Data given to us in this form can be interpreted and compared to help us choose the most appropriate unit of measurement. "The best part about hiking Mount Crumble is the amazing photos I got for some sweet social media posts!"