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Scientific Notation and Units

Measurements include a numeric value and a units of measure. Most chemistry students have encountered the principles of measurement many times prior to reaching this point. Even so,this topic emphasizes several important aspects of measurement – necessary for applying math skills toward chemistry concepts.

Solid mastery of scientific notation and powers of ten provide the basis for many chemistry calculations. Usage of SI units of measure, along with the meaning of various prefixes such as “kilo” and “milli” become crucial to a chemistry student. But further, the application of significant digits, appropriate rounding, and concepts of uncertainty in measurements become important. Students practice conversions, calculations, units of measure, and critical thinking in this topic.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

5:12 Scientific Notation – Explained!

7:14 Scientific Notation – Multiplying and Dividing

3:00 Uncertainty & Measurements



Compare Contrast and Debate

Kick-Off Debate Background: The US continues to use the Imperial System for many non-scientific measurements. The US science community has generally adopted the metric system.

  • Position A: The US should adopt the metric system for everything.
  • Position B: Having both systems is an advantage to the US and should not be changed..

Related Resources and Links

Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Analyze and interpret data.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity.