Yesterday I saw this question in the 6th grade workbook:

Use the Fundamental Counting Principle to find the total number of outcomes in each situation…

12. a license plate that has 3 numbers from 0 to 9 and 2 letters.

Then an idea popped into my head that my kids could design these license plates. We’ve covered sample space already, and I brought up the Fundamental Counting Principle last month when the Mega Millions jackpot soared to a record high of \$640 million.

I gave them instructions for the layout.

I let them research the state and start a rough sketch in their math journal.

I asked them to record on the white board what letters and digits they needed me to cut for them.

I gave each student a 8″ x 12″ white construction paper, reminded them this was the only one they’d get from me.

I told them their homework was to complete at least the background drawing.

I gave them one class period this morning to glue the letters and digits onto their plates. They checked to make sure their calculations were correct for the sample space.

I’m very pleased with how well these license plates turned out with only two class periods used. We wrapped up the activity by figuring out the sample space for California plates, but I also pointed out that not all possibilities could be used or some people would be driving around with plates like “1ASS29” or “2FAT46.”