Unit Conversion and Significant Figures

Science is full of big numbers, each of which can be several digits long. Learn how to determine the appropriate amount of numbers to display in answers as well as how to shorten those big numbers down to only a few and still display the correct answer.  

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Instructional Ideas

  • Differentiate the lesson for English learners by posting the vocabulary on a word wall, along with the definition and examples
  • Pause the video before the correct answer at 10:00 pops up at the top; allow learners to explain the mistake, then share responses with the class
  • Place the class in partners or groups of three to four to facilitate discussion throughout the video
  • Preview the video and write sample problems for the class to determine significant figures and convert between units
Classroom Considerations

  • You will need a projection system, access to the Internet, and access to YouTube to use the lesson 
Pros

  • The video engages learners with quickly changing images, witty dialogue, and challenging concepts
  • The resource is short and touches upon all aspects of significant figures and begins to demonstrate unit conversions
Cons

  • At 10 minutes, there is a mathematical error; CrashCourse acknowledges the error by placing the correct answer at the top of the screen