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Try this for a fun, visual way to start off your math work. Discuss just how large a hundred, thousand, million and billion are.
Now ask if they know how large a googol is? A googol is a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. To illustrate this, use a package of 100 paper plates. First, place a large “1″ on the wall or sidewalk. Now, lay down all 100 plates, placing a comma (written on a post-it note) between every three plates. Now your child can see just how large a googol really is!
For a bit of word fun, scroll down a bit and have fun trying to say the big number word names on this chart. Have you heard of a googolplex or a googolplexplex? (I was told that duotrigintillion was the largest number. It doesn’t look like that’s the case, though.)
As a side note, you might discuss how the folks at the popular search engine, Google, chose chose their name.
How did Google get its name?
According to Professor “X” on Questions.com (and multiple other sources): Google derived its name from the word “googol“, a term coined by then nine-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner. The story goes, Kasner had asked his nephew to invent a name for a very large number – ten to the power of one hundred (the numeral one followed by 100 zeros), and Milton called it a googol. The term was later made popular and in Kasner’s book, Mathematics and the Imagination, which he co-authored with James Newman. Later, another mathematician invented the term “googolplex“, which represents ten to the power of a googol – a substantially larger number.
Here’s a bit more about the history of Google (the company, not the number), if you’re interested.