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How is money made? Let’s head to the U.S. Mint!
Jun 22, 2021
Season 2 | Episode 1

How is money made? Let’s head to the U.S. Mint!

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For our first episode of Season 2, we’re going on a field trip.

We’re back for our second season! Thanks for joining us, and thanks for sending in so many great questions about money. We’re kicking off this season with something a whole bunch of you wanted to know more about: how money is made. To find out, Jed called his old economics teacher, Ms. Grizzle, who took us on a field trip to one of the factories that stamp out quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies. Thankfully, we made it out unscathed. (That’s a long story.) Plus, we talked to an expert about all the ways money moves through our economy. You may never look at a quarter the same way again! 

A comic showing the process for producing coins at the Philadelphia Mint. In four panels the coins are cut into circular "blanks," stamped with the design, and put in giant bags bound for banks.

And now … tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

By the way, did you know you can get this comic, tip sheet and other extras in your inbox each week? Sign up for our newsletter!

Money Talks

Take a minute to recap the episode and review the key points. Here are some questions to get the kids going:

  1. What kind of vehicle does Ms. Grizzle drive?
  2. Where did Ms. Grizzle take Jed and Bridget on their field trip?
  3. How hot can it get when they’re melting metal to make coins? 
  4. What word do we use when we’re talking about money changing hands? (Hint: It’s the same word that’s used to describe how your blood moves through your body.)
  5. Why is it important for money to keep moving?

(Click here for the answers)

Tip Jar

Our visit to the United States Mint gave us a bee’s-eye view into the process of making coins. But there’s lots more to learn about when it comes to how money’s made. Here are a few excellent resources:

We also explored how coins and bills circulate through the economy. There’s a cool project called “Where’s George?” that tracks actual $1 bills. You can learn more about it here

Finally, here’s a real-life example of what happens when the circulation of money slows down. 

Gimme 5

Our second season of “Million Bazillion” is only just beginning, and we’re still looking for answers to a couple of not-so-random questions in upcoming episodes:

  • If you had the coolest job in the world, what would you be doing?
  • If you could invent a product that would make being a kid easier, what would it be?

Have the kids think these over, and send us a voice memo here

We’re always looking for more ideas to explore, and we’d love those ideas to come from you. If you have a question for us, click here to send it in. Remember: Every episode of “Million Bazillion” is inspired by you!

Money Talks Answers

  1. An enchanted armored truck.
  2. The United States Mint in Philadelphia, where a whole lot of our coins are made.
  3. Up to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Circulation.
  5. Answers will vary, but may include: It’s important for keeping the economy healthy. People and businesses need to have it so they can use it. Money needs to be able to move freely to places where it’s needed.

The future of this podcast starts with you.

It’s official: kids love “Million Bazillion®!” From fun, creative lessons about trade to silly skits about the foundation of our economy, co-hosts Jed Kim and Bridget Bodnar, and the rest of the team are committed to making kids and their families smarter about all things money.

We know you wish you had this podcast when you were a kid—and now you can make it possible for a child in your life.

Support “Million Bazillion®” in any amount to make financial literacy accessible for the next generation.

The team

Jed Kim Host
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Sanden Totten Editor
Erica Phillips Writer/Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sitara Nieves Executive Director of On-Demand
Chris Julin Sound designer

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