A Million Drops of Water


Shanti Howard & Audrea Bankston


Problem: Milllllllion Drops of Water


If you had a million drops of water, would you be more likely to:

drink it? take a bath in it? or swim in it?


As I went searching for the weight of or density of water, Shae knew from some previous class she had taken that somewhere between 10 to 40 drops of water approximately equalled 1 milliliter. After reviewing some of my texts, I knew I needed to do some conversions because I really do not (and perhaps cannot) look at water weight in terms of the metric system (like milliliers). I can "see" the weight in terms of the US Customary System's gallons though. For some reason, probably because that's what I have had the most experience dealing with, I feel more comfortable with this...look below:

Now if :

10 drops of water = 1 milliliter


10,000 drops = 1 Liter


1,000,000 drops = 100 Liters

and my reference quoted that:

1 Gallon = 3.5 Liters,

so 1,000,000 drops of water = 28.5714 gallons


At this moment in time, I would ask my students to determine which would be the most feasible answer. They would have to give me their reasons as to why they think they way they do and give some supporting arguments. They could even demonstrate with smaller portions how the answer could be arrived at.

I would tell them that I know the answer because since my doctor prescribed 100 ounces of water for me to drink in one day...everyday, there is almost no way that I would be able to drink 28 to 29 gallons of water in a day or two...or perhaps three. I would also tell them that if they imagined putting 28 to 29 gallons of water in a pool, what would it look like? If they can't tell me the answer, then I would give the assignment of going home...getting a one gallon jug and begin filling the bathtub up.


This is stretching it, but sometimes I love getting my point across:o)