Science on the State Quarters

Quarters: Found these in my pocket...
Quarters: Found these in my pocket...

With this year's round of state quarters entering circulation, it's enlightening to see how many of the new coins focus on science and nature. The first three quarters of 2007 place wildlife in the spotlight, with a bison head on the Montana coin, a salmon on Washington state, and a peregrine falcon on Idaho. The menagerie of state coins also entails buffalo roaming on Kansas, wild mustangs running across Nevada, and full-bodied bison on North Dakota.

An oak tree takes center stage on the Connecticut currency, and there's plenty of plant life on other coins too. There's a Mississippi magnolia and a Georgia peach—just to name a few. Wisconsin pays tribute to its agricultural heritage, and it's hard to overlook the Rocky Mountains on the Colorado coin. Nature scenes decorate several other state quarters as well.

The 10,000 lakes on Minnesota's quarter have lots of company, with Crater Lake on Oregon, and the Great Lakes surrounding Michigan. Coining itself "The Ocean State," tiny Rhode Island pays homage to the enormous Atlantic, and water scenes flow over more state coins too.

Of the handful of state quarters highlighting people, California singles out conservationist John Muir, while the Missouri coin shows the Lewis and Clark expedition. Two states put money on the Wright Brothers' success, with North Carolina featuring the historic Kitty Hawk flight, and Ohio honoring the birthplace to Orville and Wilbur—along with astronaut Neil Armstrong. Transportation technology travels across many other state quarters, with Indiana giving credit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Just about every state quarter can have a scientific slant, with a little homework. That one-room schoolhouse on the Iowa quarter comes from an "Arbor Day" painting by Grant Wood. The U.S. Mint launched the first five coins in the 50 State Quarters Program in 1999. The final five coins will enter circulation in 2008.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

James Satter's picture

I was excited to pick up first 2008 state quater this week. Bird-watchers should keep an eye out for a scissor-tailed flycatcher, now that the
coin is soaring into circulation.

Nature-lovers of all varieties can look forward to gazing into the Grand Canyon of Arizona this summer, and spotting the brown bear headed down from Alaska by the end of the year.

posted on Sat, 02/23/2008 - 8:50pm

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