Math = Love: Significant Figures Poster Project

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Significant Figures Poster Project

Recently, I assigned my physical science students a significant figures project.  The goal of this project was to get them used to changing between scientific notation and standard notation and to practice rounding numbers so that they have a certain number of significant figures.

Students were told to choose a city, state, or country to research.  They needed to find 10 facts about this location and record five of these facts in scientific notation and five of these facts in standard notation.  Additionally, two of the facts had to have one significant figures, two of the facts had to have two significant figures, two of the facts had to have three significant figures, two of the facts had to have four significant figures, and two of the facts had to have five significant figures.

This started some great conversations about what type of numbers we could round to change the number of significant figures and what types of numbers we shouldn't round.

Here's the rubric I gave my students:


Did I give points to the different elements appropriately?  I really don't know.  I was most disappointed by the number of students who didn't turn their projects in on time even though they had over a week to complete it.

The projects weren't perfect, but they showed me the areas where students still need some work.  So, I guess that's proof it was a worthwhile activity.

Here are what the projects ended up looking like:




This student definitely put a lot of work into her poster about Seattle.



























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