United States Mint Celebrates National Coin Week With Expanded Educational Outreach

April 15, 2005

Washington — The United States Mint is celebrating National Coin Week (April 17–23) by reaching out to 31,000 Assistant Principals and 57,500 Librarians and Media Specialists nationwide with information about the award–winning United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site. This colorful Web site offers free educational resources for teachers, parents and students at www.usmint.gov/kids.

The site will also be featured in airport displays nationwide, promoting the interactive activities and games that have made the students’ site popular with professional educators, families and children across America.

An additional 20 million people will receive information about the H.I.P. Pocket Change site on the back of IRS income tax refund check envelopes.

When educators and families access the H.I.P. Pocket Change site, they will be greeted with these enhancements:

The Time Machine, one of H.I.P. Pocket Change’s most popular features, is being updated and expanded.

The Time Machine touches on 12 major eras in American history and some of the coins in use at the time of those events, to give students a historical perspective on the coinage.

The first four eras launched in 2004: the Colonial era (1667), the Revolutionary War era (1778), the Lewis and Clark era (1805), and the War of 1812 era (1814).

The fifth and sixth eras are scheduled to debut in 2005: the Gold Rush era (1859) and the Civil War era (1863).

Each era includes a story, several activities, and a “Want to Know More?” section with related historical material and links.

One of H.I.P. Pocket Change’s newest games is actually five games in one: The Lewis and Clark Adventure. The games follow the famous explorers’ trail, tying directly to the activities carried out by the Corps of Discovery in fulfilling its mission.

Inspector Collector’s Coin Course is a comprehensive course in coin collecting, and is packed with great information about the king of hobbies and fun activities to test what students have learned.

Additional lesson plans based on the Westward Journey Nickel Series™, which launched in March 2004, have been downloaded over 70,000 times to date.

For each new nickel released between 2004 and 2006, the United States Mint will release a new set of plans for grades K–6. For each year of this new coin series, the United States Mint will also release additional lessons for teachers in grades 7–12 as well as a resource guide for teachers of all grades. These lesson plans, like the new coins, are designed to expand your students’ knowledge about the Louisiana Purchase and the journey of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery.

The “State Quarter Day in the Classroom” feature provides a page of activities and links for each new quarter two weeks before it is released, including a state–specific trivia game and a WebQuest. In addition to being available on the Internet, these materials are sent to the Governor’s office, and are often distributed to local teachers; the teachers can then introduce the new coin to students and support the educational outreach at the quarter’s release celebration.

The 50 State Quarters Program lesson plans are free of charge to the American public and are designed for teachers of grades K through 12 across the nation, and can be downloaded from www.usmint.gov/kids.

February 2005 was a record month for the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site, as it reached the 2 million lesson plan download mark for the free 50 State Quarters Program lesson plans. Total visits to the site also reached a record level, with a total of 203,817 visits during February — a 60% increase from last February — as the new American Bison nickel lesson plans and kindergarten to 12th grade resource guide were released. During March, the site netted a record 19,679 new nickel lesson plan downloads, up 88% from last March, and 82,174 50 State Quarters Program lesson plans, up 106% from last March.

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