How many is one million?

What does one million look like?

How long will it take to collect one million? At what rate? Is this practical?

How many bottles will it take to hold one million?

How much does one million weigh?

If we stacked one million on top of each other, how high would the stack rise?

If we lined one million up side-by-side, how far would the line extend?

How can the bank help us in our quest?

These are just a few of the mathematical questions inspired by the "Math of One Million" project at Ladywood High School begun in January of 2004. The concept was simple; Collect one million United States cent pieces, called "pennies", and donate the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. In the process (which could be considerably long since one milllion "pennies" is $10,000) a variety of mathematical questions could be considered given this "practical" situation. The goal is to complete the project by the time the Ladywood class of 2007 graduates. The inspiration came from the efforts of several other Ladywood faculty and students who had already raised money for various causes by December of 2003. This empty coca-cola "bank" spotted while Christmas shopping sealed the deal.

Thus our quest began and
we hope to measure our progress on this web site. We use this bottle
bank to store our "pennies" while accepting silver coins as well, which
will be exchanged at the bank for pennies. The students in Algebra
I will guess how many pennies our "bank" will hold while the AP
Calculus students will be able to give us a better approximation in
less than a month using the volume of a rotated solid. Once the bottle
is filled, we will find out the true answer, deposit the money in the bank
and start anew.

The penny was first authorized to be minted by the government in 1787, with Benjamin Franklin suggesting its original design. Paul Revere, a noted blacksmith, supplied some of the copper for the one cent coins minted during the 1790's. In 1909, Abraham Lincoln was the first historical figure to grace a U.S. coin when he was portrayed on the one-cent coin to commemorate his 100th birthday. The Lincoln penny was also the first U.S. cent to include the words "In God We Trust."

Source: Americans for Common Sense

The word "penny" is derived from the British coin pence.

Source: Americans for Common Sense

.75 inches or 3 / 4 of an inch

Source: Penny Project

.0625 inches or 1 / 16 of an inch

Source: Penny Project

.1 ounces of 1 / 10 of an ounce

Source: Penny Project

The U.S. Mint produces between 10 billion to 13 billion pennies annually to meet broad public demand. An average of 1,040 pennies are produced every second, adding up to 30 million a day.

Source: Americans for Common Sense

How many "pennies" does a typical bank store?

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