Monday, October 31, 2011
7 billion people = tons, tons of creativity

 

People always say there are 6 billion people on earth, but now they're going to have to start saying 7 billion instead. The United Nations calculates that we're hitting that number as of today, October 31, 2011.

 

A few days ago, we sat around a table thinking to ourselves, "This is a big deal! iReport should do something!" Then we decided to put the challenge out to you, the community, to research some statistics and put together an iReport to help explain how big 7 billion really is.

 

Our usual assignments ask you to take a picture or shoot some footage or respond to some prompt. But, this time we wanted people to take this abstract, huge number and make it something that you can more easily perceive and grasp. We asked you to use some brainpower, and you delivered! You got super creative, and you taught us a few things by showing and telling at the same time.

 

There were puppets, grains of rice and glasses of water. There was even a PowerPoint presentation. And there was even some mouth-moving and walk-taking.

 

Koko the Monkey and Cocky the Rooster taught us that it would take 111 years to count to 7 billion at a rate of two counts per second. Andy Clinton of Montgomery, Alabama, was the mastermind of that project.

 

 

We heard from Wendy Olt of Chicago, Illinois, who is a 7th grade teacher (bless her) and coincidentally had a class lesson about large numbers, so she went with 7 billion since it was in the news. Her husband tipped her off to our CNN iReport assignment and she was able to send some videos from the students along.

 

 

And then we had some fun calculations. Veronica Pantaleon Mendoza of Manila, Philippines, told the story in terms of grains of rice, and Jerry Gonzales of New Plymouth, New Zealand, calculated the number of glasses of water consumed based on the usually recommended eight glasses per day.

 

 

This project forced us to brush up on our potentially rusty mathematical skills, and we applaud you for that. You really brought some creativity to the table.

 

Did you enjoy this project, and do you want to do more like these? What effect do you think all this population is going to have? Let us know what we can do to get the creative juices flowing even more freely here at CNN iReport.

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