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Activity Overview

Students explore the limits on powers that can be displayed without scientific notation and look for patterns in the powers.

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Before the Activity

See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
Print the transparency sheet and pages 70 - 72 from the attached Student PDF file for the class
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During the Activity

Distribute the pages to the class.

Follow the activity procedures:

Find the greatest whole number exponent for the bases given on the Activity page so that the product is displayed without scientific notation
Understand that the exponent for 4 is the greatest whole number less than or equal to one-half of the exponent for 2, because 4 is the square of 2
Realize that the exponent for 25 is the greatest whole number less than or equal to one-half of the exponent for 5, because 25 is the square of 5
Find the square root of the greatest number that can be displayed on the calculator
Take its integer part to determine the greatest whole number whose square can be displayed on the calculator without using scientific notation
Understand that if the base is 1, the product is always 1 [irrespective of the exponent]
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After the Activity

Students complete the Activity pages.

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