Education Technology

Power Company

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

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

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
  • 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]
  • 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