Lesson 16

Is a Smartphone Smart Enough to Go to the Moon?

Lesson Narrative

In this culminating lesson, students use scientific notation as a tool for making comparisons. Students compare old hardware to new hardware using various digital media as a form of measurement. For example, students compare floppy drives to modern technology by measuring how many floppy drives it would take to store a high-definition film. Students must identify the essential features of the questions and reason qualitatively and abstractly in order to answer them in context (MP4, MP2).

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Use scientific notation to compare quantities in context, and describe (orally) how using scientific notation helps with making comparisons between very large and very small quantities.

Student Facing

Let’s compare digital media and computer hardware using scientific notation.

Required Materials

Required Preparation

Print the Old Hardware, New Hardware blackline master. Prepare 1 copy for every 2 students.

Learning Targets

Student Facing

  • I can use scientific notation to compare different amounts and answer questions about real-world situations.

CCSS Standards


Print Formatted Materials

Teachers with a valid work email address can click here to register or sign in for free access to Cool Down, Teacher Guide, and PowerPoint materials.

Student Task Statements pdf docx
Cool Down Log In
Teacher Guide Log In
Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
Blackline Masters zip

Additional Resources

Google Slides Log In
PowerPoint Slides Log In