In this activity, learners complete a series of drawing activities to explore scale and powers of 10. Use this activity to introduce learners to how scientists use specialized tools to study small things.
People find it cumbersome to speak of units of measurement like "one ten thousandth of a billionth" of an inch or even "ten to the minus thirteenth" (10-13) inches; so they devise different names. No one gives the distance between cities in inches; we use miles. For people's heights we use feet and inches. But there are 12 inches in a foot, 5280 feet in a mile and so on. That gets messy if we want to convert from miles to inches. It is easier to use the metric system where everything goes by powers of 10: