In the 9th-10th grade, most students are already aware of scientific notation. Scientific notation is a great fundamental knowledge for students to learn engineering notation. Engineering notation is an international method of working with numbers. In engineering, there can either be really large numbers or really small numbers. Engineering notation is simply scientific notation but it works in groups of three. There are also prefixes. So if you wanted to say 3,000 in engineering notation you would just say 3k. The prefix k is widely used in the real world and its definition is not really known. For example, personally I was aware of 2k18 but I didn’t know that it meant 2,018 until I learned about engineering notation. I tried to incorporate that example into the lesson and really connect it back to their fundamental knowledge of the scientific notation.
Aim: How can we represent numbers correctly using engineering notation and their metric prefixes?
- convert numbers into engineering notation
- identify all of the basic metric prefixes
- assess which metric prefix to use