Math Forum - Problem of the Week

A Million Penny Project

[Spanish version]

Amirís student council is planning to save one million pennies during the school year next year, starting Monday, September 1 and ending no later than May 31. Each of the 428 students promises to donate $1.00 to the project each Monday.

A neighboring school volunteers to help. In that school 531 students agree to donate $0.10 each per weekday, but they wonít start until January 1. Amir creates a spreadsheet to make a presentation to the student council on how long it will take them to finish their project.

Create a spreadsheet to track their project. At this rate, when will the schools have combined to collect a million pennies?

Extra: After 3 weeks of saving, the students at the first school decide to reduce their contribution to $0.75 each per week. Adapt your spreadsheet to determine if they will have collected their million pennies by the ending date at this rate. If so, when? If not, how much will they have by May 31?

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