Lessons That Make Cents May 2022

Spring Into Science

Explore scientific concepts using the U.S. Mint Coin Classroom.

Monthly Mint Trivia: How many grams does a nickel weigh? (Hint: check the Coin Weight Investigation activity to find out.)

Check Answer

Experiment With Coins

symbols with microscope, atom, magnifying glass, and paperThe U.S. Mint Coin Classroom offers hands-on activities to explore coins, metals, and concepts like energy and chemical reactions. Students can also explore how the Mint uses science to create and package our coins.

Browse these related resources.

U.S. Mint Coin Classroom Content (Grades K-6)

U.S. Mint Website Content (Grades 6 and up)

Videos on the U.S. Mint YouTube channel


  • Coin Sun Prints (Grades K+): Learn about the sun’s energy and how to use it to turn coins and construction paper into a beautiful sun print!
  • Coin Weight Investigation (Grades 2+): Make predictions and explore different coin weights by creating a coin balance scale.
  • Test Surface Tension (Grades 2+): See surface tension in action using coins and water.
  • Can You Make a Penny Float? (Grades 3+): Learn about density with this fun experiment.
  • Clean or Green Pennies (Grades 3+): Investigate chemical reactions that either clean a penny or turn it green.

Want more ideas? Reach out to education.outreach@usmint.treas.gov for recommendations on lesson plans and activities for your students.

Coin of the Month: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative $5 Gold Coin

2022 National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Gold Coin Proof ObverseThe U.S. Mint released the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor $5 Gold Coin as part of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Program. It honors the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, an institution that commemorates the extraordinary sacrifice of U.S. servicemembers who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

On May 28, 1932, 136 World War I veterans became the first recipients of the Purple Heart. Since then, it has been awarded to an estimated 1.8 million servicemen and servicewomen. The Purple Heart is currently awarded to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been wounded or killed by enemy action.

The $5 gold coin obverse (heads) design features the Purple Heart medal. The reverse (tails) design places George Washington’s signature under the Badge of Military Merit and over a textured stripe.

Collector’s Corner

cartoon penny obverse

Learn how to get started with a coin collection and more!

Artistic Tradition Video

Watch the Mint’s artists reflect on coin design tradition.

Coin Drop

coin drop game icon

Deliver liberty loans by flying a WWI-era plane in a fun flying game.

We Want to Hear from You!

coin coloring book pagesAre you interested in incorporating coins into your classroom next year, but aren’t sure where to start? Let us help you! The U.S. Mint offers K-6 lesson plans, online educational games, videos, online quizzes, a free Coin Coloring Book, and other resources. Reach out to us at education.outreach@usmint.treas.gov to request resources that fit your education needs.

Trivia Answer: The nickel weighs 5 grams.