# Scientific Notation

The

Scientific Notation web tool with student
activities and accompanying instructor materials is currently being field
tested. If you teach undergraduates or have students interested in
astronomy and would like to participate in the field test, please contact Grace
Deming (

__deming@astro.umd.edu__).

**What Do Students
Learn?**

As a part of our research we are assessing the
effectiveness of the web materials on the Astronomy Workshop site. The
student activities were developed after a series of interviews with introductory
astronomy students of various backgrounds and mathematics abilities. The
learning outcomes for the Scientific Notation activities are:
- Students will practice converting
numbers into and out of scientific notation.
- Students will demonstrate
proficiency in converting numbers into and out of scientific notation
- Students will practice adding and
subtracting numbers expressed in scientific notation.
- Students will demonstrate
proficiency in adding and subtracting numbers expressed in scientific
notation.
- Students will practice multiplying
and dividing numbers expressed in scientific notation.
- Students will demonstrate
proficiency in multiplying and dividing numbers expressed in scientific
notation.

**How Do We Best Use These
Activities?**

The
activities are arranged in a numbered format so that you may assign the ones
that best serve your purposes. Our research shows that
students enter an astronomy course with a wide range of mathematical
abilities. The Scientific Notation web site includes a review of
scientific notation and the application skills that are normally required in an
introductory astronomy course. There is a ‘Help me!' feature at the bottom of
the page for students who need a more thorough review of these skills. The
activities are designed to help students acquire or review the skills necessary
for success in understanding scientific notation and computation. Each
activity suggests practice followed by a demonstration of proficiency in the
form of a quiz, which can be easily printed out and collected as homework to
assure accountability. Since the aim of these activities is preparation for
using scientific notation in the course, we allow students to re-take the quiz
as many times as they would like. It is different every time. This
feature provides an easy way to assure that students are individually completing
the assignment. Please not that Activity 4 is a combination of Activities 1-3.

**Activity Packets**Listed below are
activities featuring the

Scientific Notation web
tool. The activity packets are provided in both

Microsoft Word format and

Adobe PDF format. If you would like to view
a PDF, you may download the free

Acrobat Reader
program from Adobe.