Dear Educator, If you have any questions or suggestions we look forward to hearing from you! Once again thank you

Dear Educator, We want to thank you for exploring the Pop Tab program run by the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. Every year the Ronald McDonald Hou...
Author: Malcolm Newton
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Dear Educator, We want to thank you for exploring the Pop Tab program run by the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. Every year the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware has the ability to raise money through the donations of Pop Tabs. Pop Tabs might seem like such a silly thing to collect compared to the cans themselves, however, there is more aluminum to sell in the tab then there is in the whole can! Enclosed is fun facts, information, puzzles and sample lesson plans to help educate your students on Pop Tabs and why the Ronald McDonald House collects them. We hope that you will participate and encourage your class to collect Pop Tabs through games, activities and competitions. For the Ronald McDonald House every donation counts. The money raised will go towards helping take care of the families that stay at our House. We encourage you to challenge your students and have fun with these activities. If you have any questions or suggestions we look forward to hearing from you! Once again thank you.

Ronald McDonald House of Delaware POP TAB SCHOOL PROGRAM

Ideas and Activities for Teachers

Table of Contents History of the Ronald McDonald House POP TABS: 101 Evolution of the Pop Tab Fun Facts to Know Pop Tab Wars History Science Mathematics Pop Tab Word Search Answer Sheets References

History of the Ronald McDonald House When Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill’s 3-year old daughter, Kim, was being treated for leukemia in 1974, Fred and his wife, Fran, camped out on hospital benches and sat in cramped waiting rooms during Kim’s three years of treatment. The Hill Family watched other parents and families of seriously ill children do the same thing. Many of the families had to travel long distances for their children to receive medical treatment and could not afford to pay for hotel rooms. The Hill Family knew there had to be a solution. Fred rallied the support of his Philadelphia Eagles teammates to raise funds. Through Jim Murray, the Eagles general manager, the team offered its support to Dr. Audrey Evans of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Evans dreamed of a comfortable temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital. Jim Murray enlisted the help of Don Tuckerman from the local McDonald’s advertising agency. Mr. Tuckerman and McDonald’s regional manager Ed Rensi, launched the St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake (dubbed the Shamrock Shake) promotion. Funds raised from the Shamrock Shake helped purchase an old house located near the hospital. And this is how the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia in 1974. The network of houses quickly grew and by 1979, 10 more houses opened. Today, there are over 336 Ronald McDonald Houses in 35 countries and regions that support families around the world!

The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware located at 1901 Rockland Road in Wilmington opened in 1991 with 17 rooms and now has 50 rooms. Can you guess which countries we are in? Out of the following Countries which ones do you think have Chapters available?

Argentina Australia Austria Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica Ireland Israel Italy Japan Latvia Malaysia Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua

Czech Republic Denmark El Salvador Finland France Germany Guatemala Honduras Hong Kong Hungary

Norway Panama Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Romania Russia Scotland Singapore

Slovakia Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand Turkey United Kingdom Venezuela

That’s Right! All Of Them!!

POP TABS: 101 The pop tab was invented in 1974 There are 1,267 pop tabs in one pound The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware receives an average of 45₵-55₵ for each pound of tabs. The reason we collect the tab instead of the can (besides not having the space) is because there is more aluminum in just the tab than there is in the whole can! In 2013 we received $6,400 from recycling pop tabs. That is equal to 12,838 pounds of pop tabs! We hope to surpass that amount in 2014! Even a small number of pop tabs can make a difference so save your tabs and send them to us as often as you would like! Not all pop tabs are made of aluminum. Checking with a magnet can help determine the content. Steel or mixed-metal tabs will stick to the magnet while aluminum tabs will not. Money earned from the pop tab program is used to offset general operating costs. Please send your pop tabs to: Ronald McDonald House of Delaware 1901 Rockland Road Wilmington, DE 19803 302-656-4847 Or drop them off in person 9AM -9PM 7 days a week!

Evolution of the Pop Tab Today’s sodas come in aluminum cans, but 50 years ago beverage cans were made from tinplate, or tin-coated steel, and had to be opened with a special can opener called a “church key”. As the cost of tin increased, beverage producers looked for a new material for the cans. The lightweight and economical aluminum can was developed in 1958, but a separate can opener was still required. Then in 1959, a man named Ermal Fraze from Dayton, Ohio found himself at a picnic with plenty of canned drinks and no can opener!! Soon Ermal began tinkering in his basement workshop with an idea of attaching some type of opening lever to a can. He developed a landmark method of attaching a tab to the can top in 1962 and his idea was patented by the United States government in 1963. A variety of styles of pop tabs evolved over the next 20 years or so, many of which pulled off completely and caused a great deal of environmental pollution. The version of the pop tab we know today began to appear on beverage cans around 1980. The Ronald McDonald House collects the tabs instead of the can because there is more aluminum in just the tab than in the whole can – and the tabs take up much less space!

Fun Facts to Know  There are 1,267 pop tabs in one pound.  One pound of aluminum makes about 30 soda cans.  In only 60 days after they are recycled, aluminum cans can be turned into a new can and put back on the shelves.  The thickness of the can is less than five-thousandths of an inch – 0.005” – about the same as a magazine cover.  A pop tab withstands up to 110 pounds of tension exerted against it by the carbon dioxide in the soda. But only 3-4 pounds of pull on the tab causes the tab to rupture, releasing the contents inside.  Last year Americans recycled over 62.6 billion aluminum cans. That many cans placed end to end could circle the earth at its equator 171 times.  Aluminum does not rust.  10,433 empty aluminum beverage cans weigh as much as Shaq O’Neal.  Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for 3 hours.

Sources used – and

Lesson Plans

The following activities are for use in the classroom to help students get involved in collecting Pop Tabs for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for additions to the packet next year please let us know!


1. The first Ronald McDonald House was built in 1974. What other notable events happened during that year? 2. Who invented the pop tab? 3. When was the pop tab invented? What other notable events occurred the year the pop tab was invented? 4. What year did the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware open?


1. Pop tabs are made from which metal? What are the qualities of this metal that make it ideal for use in making beverage cans? 2. Why does the Ronald McDonald House collect only the tabs and not the whole can? 3. What other items can you recycle? 4. What is the elemental symbol for aluminum? 5. What is the biggest disadvantage of packaging beverages in today’s standard aluminum “pop tab” cans?

Math: Measure Me! Objectives To estimate and measure objects using non-standard and standard units of Measurement To understand why we need a standard form of measurement and why we need various forms of linear measurement (e.g., inch, foot, yard) To practice selecting the appropriate unit of measurement for an object Class Organization Whole class; pairs or small groups General Description Students estimate and measure objects using pop tabs and Popsicle sticks. They then repeat this activity using rulers and yard sticks, comparing the usefulness of each measuring system and the appropriateness of different units of measurement for the various objects being measured. Materials Pop tabs Popsicle sticks Objects found in the classroom Measure Me! Activity Sheet Preparation Make copies of the Measure Me! Activity Sheet Procedure 1. Explain to students that today they will be estimating measurements and will use pop tabs and Popsicle sticks to measure various objects around the room. 2. Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Give each group a copy of the Measure Me! Activity Sheet, some pop tabs, and some Popsicle sticks. 3. Have each group of students pick one or two objects to measure. Explain to students that they should first estimate how many pop tabs long, wide or tall they think their object is, and then measure the object using the pop tabs. They should then repeat this process using the Popsicle sticks. 4. Bring the class back together and discuss the measurements students came up with using pop tabs and Popsicle stick. How did their estimates compare to their actual measurements and to those of their fellow classmates?

5. As a class, discuss the usefulness of measuring objects using pop tabs vs. Popsicle sticks. Ask students how easy/hard it was to measure the various objects using the pop tabs vs. the Popsicle sticks. For example, was it difficult to measure the length of a table using pop tabs? 6. Brainstorm measuring tools that would make it easier to measure large objects. 7. Ask students to compare the use of pop tabs, Popsicle sticks, and other measuring tools for measuring objects. If one person measures an object using pop tabs how does that measurement compare with another object that has been measured with Popsicle sticks? If something is 3 popsicle sticks long, is that larger or smaller than something that is 25 pop tabs long? 8. Discuss the need for using not only appropriate units of measurement, but also standard units of measurement. Bring out a ruler and a yardstick. Review with students measuring in inches, feet and yards. They should know that 12 inches = 1 foot. And that 3 feet = 1 yard. 9. As a class, review each of the objects the students chose to measure. Given the relative size of each object, which unit of measurement would work best for measuring that object? Measuring in inches, feet, or yards? 10. Now that they have selected a unit of measurement for each object, have students go back and estimate the new length/height/width of their object using a standard unit of measurement. Then have them measure the object. How accurate are their estimates/measurements now? How easy is it to compare the size of an object with another object? 11. Now that students have seen the usefulness of measuring objects in inches, feet, and yards, ask them to suggest other objects, at home or at school, that they might measure and what unit of measurement they would use. Extension Ideas Have students practice converting measurements between inches, feet, and yards. Have students practice measuring objects using centimeters, meters, and practice converting between the two measurement systems. Introduce the concept of benchmark estimating. Students have learned that standard units of measurement can make measuring objects easier. But what would they do if they needed to measure something and they didn’t have a ruler or yardstick? They could use an object that they do know the length of to estimate the length of object they wish to measure (e.g., if I know my foot is 12 inches long, I could measure the length of my desk by the number of “feet” long it is. Or, since 1 pop = 1 inch, if my eraser is approximately 2 pop tabs long, I can say that it is approximately 2 inches long.) Discuss the importance of selecting the correct benchmark for making comparisons.

© 2006 Ronald McDonald House Charities Upper Midwest

Measure Me! Name:________________________Date:____________ How many big/tall/long/wide am I? Make an estimate. Then measure and find out! 1. Our object is a:-_____________ We think it measures:________ pop tabs. It actually measures: ________pop tabs. We think it measures: ________Popsicle sticks. It actually measures:_________ Popsicle sticks. It would be easier to measure our object using (circle one): inches



We think our object measures:__________________ Our object actually measures:__________________

2. Our object is a:____________________________ We think it measures:________ pop tabs. It actually measures: ________pop tabs. We think it measures: ________Popsicle sticks. It actually measures:_________ Popsicle sticks. It would be easier to measure our object using (circle one): inches



We think our object measures:__________________ Our object actually measures:__________________

© 2006 Ronald McDonald House Charities Upper Midwest

Answer Sheet History 1. Some examples of events that occurred in 1974: President Nixon resigned Violence breaks out in Boston due to integration in the busing systems Dr. Henry Heimlich introduced the Heimlich maneuver “Happy Days” premiered its first episode on TV Stevie Wonder won a Grammy award for album of the year for his album “Innervisions” 2. Ermal Fraze 3. The ring pull can, or first “pop tab” was invented in 1962. The following are some examples of events that occurred in 1962: John Glen was the first American astronaut in space Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962 “Lawrence of Arabia” won best picture at the Academy Awards Telstar successfully transmitted transatlantic television signals for the first time Cuban missile crisis occurred on October 28, 1962 The Beatles appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” 4. 1991

Science 1. Aluminum; does not rust, is light weight, is inexpensive. 2. The aluminum alloy is more pure in the tab than in the rest of the can, tabs are cleaner, and they take up less space to store and haul to the recycling center. 3. Answers may vary. Some examples include newspapers, plastic bottles, glass containers, office paper. 4. AL 5. They cannot be resealed if you do not want to finish the entire can!

References 1. Ronald McDonald House Charities® web site: 2. “Pop Tab Program – Ideas and Resources for Teachers” from the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Central Valley Region, Inc. web site: www.ronald– 3. The information in the above web site was taken from the book “The Evolution of Useful Things” by Henry Petroski, published by Knopf, 1992, pages 196-201. 4. “Mathematics teachers guide” from Ronald McDonald House® Twin Cities.

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