Q&A #2599

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Classroom Openers

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From: Loyd

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005011712:26:05
Subject: Opener using slightly large numbers

This can be an opener or it could be an overnight project.  Students
should be able to use calculators. Answers don't have to necessarily
agree as long as they are reasonable.  For this example we will use
1000 bills per inch. Some teachere might want to use the metric

How high would 1 trillion 1000 dollar bills  be if they were all
stacked up in a single pile.  Assume 1000 tightly packed bills will be
1 inch thick. 

A thousand 1000 dollar bills would be 1 inch thick and would be 1
million dollars or 1,000,000 dollars.  (10^6)

A billion dollars or 1,000,000,000 would be 1000 inches.  A trillion
dollars or 1.000,000,000,000 would be 1 million inches high.

Convert inches to feet and then miles:

1,000,000 divided by 12 = 83333.333  feet (repeating decimal)
83333.333 divided by 5280=15.78 miles.

If one wanted to know how high a stack of 1 dollar bills would be,
then multiply the last answer by 1000.  The stack would approx 15783

Optionaly, once could us the metric system for this problem.  

The teacher might start the problem ask the students if a single stack
of  one trillion $1.00 bills would be closer to:

a,) 1 mile high
b.) 10 miles high
c.) 1000 miles high
d.) 10,000 miles high
e.) 20,000 miles high

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