Residents Overwhelm BU with Pennies for Science

April 12, 2013

BRANDON, MB – More than 10,000 pennies have been donated to Brandon University (BU) in the past month by residents responding to a public plea by Science professors who use the copper coins in experiments and demonstrations.

Drs Bryan Hill and Mark Berry with donated pennies

Drs Bryan Hill and Mark Berry with donated pennies

“We are overwhelmed by the response,” says Dr. Mark Berry, professor and chair of BU’s Chemistry department. “People young and old have been dropping off pennies in bags, jars and by the handful. A senior’s home in Brandon even held a donation drive. To everyone, we want to say ‘thank you’.”

Each year, BU professors use thousands of pennies in science experiments and demonstrations. School children marvel as the coins are electroplated with zinc then heated, turning from copper to ‘silver’ and finally ‘gold’. But the federal government has stopped production and is phasing out the penny, which prompted the appeal from the Science Faculty.

“We will use these coins to kindle a child’s interest in the sciences,” says Dr. Berry.

Pennies can still be dropped off at the Dean’s Office in the Brodie Building, Rm 172.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, creation and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.



For more information, please contact:


Dr. Mark Berry
Chair, Chemistry
Glen Kirby
Communications Officer