My Public Service For The Month

From time to time, I like to ask my students general knowledge questions, both to get an idea of what they know and to make them more "culturally literate," and so last week I asked them to estimate the population of the United States and while a few students were fairly accurate (and some had heard the census results on the news) the range of guesses was rather astounding; it went from 600,00 to 300 billion, and there was even a teacher who guessed way over the top (9 billion) . . . and so in a self-less and truly philanthropic effort to promote number sense-- an effort that should warrant some sort of award or at least coupons for free meals in the Prytaneum-- I have filched the graphics from Greg Mankiw's Blog-- he's an economics professor at Harvard-- and they illustrate, in terms of 100$ bills, what a million dollars, a billion dollars and a trillion dollars (note the little dude on the left to get the scale) look like; you can read his whole post on this here.

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