Education Technology

Scientific Notation

Activity Overview

This activity gives students an opportunity to see where large and small numbers are used and how scientific notation offers a convenient method of writing such numbers. This will be done both with and without technology.


  • Students will use scientific notation to understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers and number systems.
  • Students will develop an understanding of large numbers and recognize and appropriately use exponential, scientific, and calculated notation.
  • Students will try to make a connection with how to understand these topics in IB Mathematics courses and on their final assessments.


  • Scientific Notation
  • Expanded Form
  • Integers
  • Percentage Error

About the Lesson

Scientific notation is a way of writing very large and very small numbers. Numbers in scientific notation include two parts, a number greater than or equal to 1 and less than 10, and a power of 10. 

*Note: This activity includes optional IB support, including the IB Questions download for students who are preparing for the IB Exam.