Education Technology

Keeping up with Trash

Activity Overview

Students use scientific notation in finding answers to real-life problems.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print the transparency sheet and pages 34 - 36 from the attached Student PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Examine the data showing the amounts of trash (aluminum, glass, and paper) recycled in a day
  • Determine the amounts of trash that can be recycled in a week, in a month, and in a year
  • Use the calculator to present the answer as a multi-digit number and/or in scientific notation
  • If trash is recycled evenly throughout the day, determine how many pounds of aluminum are recycled in an hour, in a minute, and in a second
  • Compare the keystrokes used in the steps
  • Given the total population generating the trash, determine the amount of trash recycled by each person in a day
  • After the Activity

    Students complete the activity pages and answer questions.

  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary