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Welcome to Exploring Expressions and Equations, the latest collaboration between The Actuarial Foundation and Scholastic. This tiered program promises to appeal to students’ love of adventure with explorations of Mars and a swim through the Amazon River! Teachers will enjoy the flexibility of the program, which focuses on variables and includes an advanced portion on scientific notation. The lesson incorporates online and offline components, including:

  • A cutting-edge digital interactive activity that launches students into writing expressions and equations by sending them on a mission to Mars and to the International Space Station!
  • Three activities with printable worksheets (see below). These engaging activities follow a biologist using variables and scientific notation to swim the length of the Amazon River.

Access this new and exciting program using the menu below.


lessonLesson: Exploring Expressions and Equations
In this two-part lesson, students will explore variables, including writing and solving expressions and equations. An advanced section on scientific notation is included.


toolDigital Interactive Activity:  Launching Into Expressions and Equations

Launch your students into expressions and equations with this interactive tool. The “Mission to Mars” module covers variables, and the “International Space Station” module covers scientific notation.


lesson1Activity/Worksheet 1: "Using Variables in Equations"

In the role of a biologist, students will construct expressions and solve equations to prepare to explore the Amazon River by swimming it.


lesson2Activity/Worksheet 2: "Translating Word Problems Into Equations"

Students will translate real-world situations into equations while making observations about some of the species along the Amazon River.


lesson3Activity/Worksheet 3: "Performing Operations With Scientific Notation" (Advanced)

In this advanced worksheet, students will use scientific notation to quantify and process their findings from the Amazon River exploration.


Delve deeper into expressions and equations with these related programs: Adventures in Expressions and Equations and Solving the Unknown with Algebra.