One of my favorite discussions with students is about big numbers. These discussions help us to see how small we are, and how great our God must be. In our homeschools, we can talk with our children about numbers like googol, googolplex, and Graham’s number. There are lots of videos on YouTube to help you visualize these numbers, which are truly beyond our comprehension.
A great exercise along these lines that we do each March is calculate the odds of filling out a perfect NCAA March Madness Bracket. This video shows you how. This exercise helps explain why Joe’s Plumbing down the street can offer a million dollars for a perfect bracket, and Joe can sleep soundly at night knowing he won’t ever have to pay up. After they have figured out the number of different brackets that must be filled out to guarantee a winner, I then have them divide that number by the number of people on planet Earth (currently 7.5 billion). When all is done, we discover that every person on earth (including infants, the elderly – everyone) would need to fill out 1.2 billion brackets each to guarantee that there would be one (and only one) perfect bracket.