Boxed In and Wrapped Up

If cubes have the smallest surface area, why aren't there more cube-shaped packages? Scholars take a box in the shape of a rectangular prism, cut it up, and make new boxes in the shape of cubes with the same volume. They then brainstorm why most packages aren't in the shape of cubes even though they use less material.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags

Instructional Ideas

  • Team up with a math teacher for the engineering activity
Classroom Considerations

  • Pupils should already be familiar with the volume and surface area of rectangular prisms
  • Resource expects classmates to each bring in two identical boxes from home
Pros

  • Provides an assessment sheet for the activity
  • Young learners will appreciate the hands-on nature of the lesson
Cons

  • None
NGSS