Education Technology

How dense are we

Published on 08/09/2018

Activity Overview

In this activity students use scientific notation to compare populations, state land areas and the corresponding population density.


  • Review of computation: order of operations, directed numbers, scientific notation, estimation, exact and approximate answers.


  • Scientific notation
  • Population
  • Density
  • Significant figures

About the Lesson

Population values are interesting in that it doesn't make sense to talk about the number of people that live in a state or country as this quantity will most likely change whilst reading the actual value. Scientific notation and significant figures provide an order of magnitude which is a much better way of communicating such figures. This activity helps students learn how to use scientific notation on the TI-Nspire CX through the context of population, area and population density.