Lesson 15Adding and Subtracting with Scientific Notation
Let’s add and subtract using scientific notation to answer questions about animals and the solar system.
Learning Targets:
 I can add and subtract numbers given in scientific notation.
15.1 Number Talk: Nonzero Digits
Mentally decide how many nonzero digits each number will have.
15.2 Measuring the Planets
Diego, Kiran, and Clare were wondering:
“If Neptune and Saturn were side by side, would they be wider than Jupiter?”
 They try to add the diameters, km and km. Here are the ways they approached the problem. Do you agree with any of them? Explain your reasoning.
 Diego says, “When we add the distances, we will get . The exponent will be 9. So the two planets are km side by side.”

Kiran wrote as 47,000 and as 120,000 and added them:
 Clare says, “I think you can’t add unless they are the same power of 10.” She adds km and to get .
 Jupiter has a diameter of . Which is wider, Neptune and Saturn put side by side, or Jupiter?
15.3 A Celestial Dance
object  diameter (km)  distance from the Sun (km) 

Sun  
Mercury  
Venus  
Earth  
Mars  
Jupiter 
 When you add the distances of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars from the Sun, would you reach as far as Jupiter?
 Add all the diameters of all the planets except the Sun. Which is wider, all of these objects side by side, or the Sun? Draw a picture that is close to scale.
Are you ready for more?
The emcee at a carnival is ready to give away a cash prize! The winning contestant could win anywhere from $1 to $100. The emcee only has 7 envelopes and she wants to make sure she distributes the 100 $1 bills among the 7 envelopes so that no matter what the contestant wins, she can pay the winner with the envelopes without redistributing the bills. For example, it’s possible to divide 6 $1 bills among 3 envelopes to get any amount from $1 to $6 by putting $1 in the first envelope, $2 in the second envelope, and $3 in the third envelope (Go ahead and check. Can you make $4? $5? $6?).
15.4 Old McDonald's Massive Farm
Use the table to answer questions about different life forms on the planet.
creature  number  mass of one individual (kg) 

humans  
cows  
sheep  
chickens  
ants  
blue whales  
antarctic krill  
zooplankton  
bacteria 
 On a farm there was a cow. And on the farm there were 2 sheep. There were also 3 chickens. What is the total mass of the 1 cow, the 2 sheep, the 3 chickens, and the 1 farmer on the farm?
 Make a conjecture about how many ants might be on the farm. If you added all these ants into the previous question, how would that affect your answer for the total mass of all the animals?
 What is the total mass of a human, a blue whale, and 6 ants all together?
 Which is greater, the number of bacteria, or the number of all the other animals in the table put together?
Lesson 15 Summary
When we add decimal numbers, we need to pay close attention to place value. For example, when we calculate , we need to make sure to add hundredths to hundredths (5 and 0), tenths to tenths (2 and 7), ones to ones (3 and 6), and tens to tens (1 and 0). The result is 19.95.
We need to take the same care when we add or subtract numbers in scientific notation. For example, suppose we want to find how much further the Earth is from the Sun than Mercury. The Earth is about km from the Sun, while Mercury is about km. In order to find we can rewrite this as Now that both numbers are written in terms of , we can subtract 0.58 from 1.5 to find Rewriting this in scientific notation, the Earth is km further from the Sun than Mercury.
Lesson 15 Practice Problems

Evaluate each expression, giving the answer in scientific notation:

 Write a scenario that describes what is happening in the graph.
 What is happening at 5 minutes?
 What does the slope of the line between 6 and 8 minutes mean?

Apples cost $1 each. Oranges cost $2 each. You have $10 and want to buy 8 pieces of fruit. One graph shows combinations of apples and oranges that total to $10. The other graph shows combinations of apples and oranges that total to 8 pieces of fruit.

Name one combination of 8 fruits shown on the graph that whose cost does not total to $10.

Name one combination of fruits shown on the graph whose cost totals to $10 that are not 8 fruits all together.

How many apples and oranges would you need to have 8 fruits that cost $10 at the same time?


Solve each equation and check your solution.