By Roger, age 11
At Player Development, we wanted to know: Which is faster and more accurate; using math or counting one by one?
We recently received a zip lock bag of pop tops. The bag was pretty big, about 9 inches by 12 inches and 2 inches thick. We weighed it (and it was 749 grams) and then decided to see just how many pop tops that was, so we divided into two groups. Group one would use the scale and math to figure out how many pop tops were in the bag, and group two would count each pop top. To save time, the counting group used a little bit of math by putting the pop tops in groups of 10, counting the groups and then multiplying to figure out how many tops there were.
When the two groups compared answers, they should be the same – or at least close.
Group one found that a single pop top weighed 0.3 grams. If the whole bag weighed 749 grams and each pop top weighed 0.3 grams, how many grams were in the bag? That sure sounds like a math question that needs division. So when they divided 749 by 0.3, they got 2,4966.66 which they rounded to 2497. Group two counted, and their final tally was 2,500.
The answers were pretty close, so we called it a draw and gave out sweeties to all the children.
At Player Development, we save soda can pop tops. The aluminium is sent north, where it is recycled, and we get money which we donate to good causes.
Player Development is an after-school program dedicated to helping children do better in school. We are also and Early Act Rotary Youth Club. As such, we work with Rotary clubs by collecting pop tops to help people who are in need. We have already helped bring 20 wheelchairs to St. Maarten after Hurricane Irma, to replace lost and broken chairs.
During the pandemic, we used the money from the pop tops to help buy food which we gave out to the needy. We raised US $6,000 to help restore Engine 35, the last steam engine to run on Long Island New York, and we are currently helping send wheelchairs to Ukraine to help injured people there.
To help keep pop tops out of the St. Maarten dump; take the tops off your cans, collect a bunch and just drop them off to Player Development at the back of the Little League Ballpark Monday to Friday from 1:00 to 5:00pm.
If you are headed to the states or Canada and know of a recycling centre near your destination and can pick up a bag or two from us and carry it in your luggage; drop it off and send the money to the current charity we are working with. Helping the needy and saving the planet are both good things to do; let’s do it together.