In Mrs. Rivieccio’s class, the children are weighing and dividing up Mrs. Rivieccio’s silver and copper coins. An interesting thing happened when they were weighing the coins. The children discovered some inconsistencies in the penny weights. When Mrs. Berretta originally weighed 10 pennies at the beginning of the Penny Harvest, she found the weight to be 1 ounce, but when she visited Mrs. Rivieccio’s class to talk about pennies, she found that it took 11 pennies to get one ounce and this inconsistency bothered her. What do you do when you are bothered, perplexed, or flummoxed…visit Google.com.
Hence, the children and Mrs. Rivieccio and Mrs. Berretta headed to our new cool iMac and found out that depending on the year of the minting and the alloys used (ie.copper, zinc, steel), the weight of a penny will vary or fluctuate. For example we found at About.com on pennies we found out that pennies made prior to 1982 were 95% copper and pennies minted after 1983 are 97.5% zinc in composition and coated with a copper plating.
Now this is interesting why? What do you zinc? “Because of the type of material they used the pennies have different weights and this will effect our Penny Harvest Weights,” said Ruggiany, a fifth grader at our school. Mr. Jump, who joined our class to discuss the science of pennies had this to say, “We also learned that zinc pennies make a thud when they hit a formica surface and copper pennies have a “melodious ring. this might be a nice Science Fair project.”
- Common Cents [dot] org
- Read about our former student Elizabeth Richardson and her mom Debra at Common Cents!