Ice Cream Cone

This Ice Cream Cone activity & project also includes:

Every pupil with a sweet tooth will be clamoring for this lab and analysis, particularly when they're allowed to eat the results! Volume and surface area formulas for cones are developed from models, and then extended to the printing of wrappers for the cones. Several modes of attack are detailed in the teacher notes, from geometric to algebraic, serving the needs of a wide variety of learning styles.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Could be done in conjunction with a CAD class or lab to design the final stacking arrangement of wrappers.
  • Extension might include designing a new shape of cone that holds the same volume of ice cream, but has a more efficiently produced wrapper.
  • Sidebar research could include the story of how ice cream cones were officially invented at the 1904 world's fair.
Classroom Considerations

  • If learners are going to be measuring from real ice cream cones, these need to be provided (if different types are brought in from home, different answers will result).
  • Pupils already familiar with the surface area formulas might gloss over developing those from scratch.
  • Student questions not on a separate sheet from teaching notes.
Pros

  • Relevant and engaging application of geometric calculations
  • Multiple answers and open-ended questions develop mathematical thinking
Cons

  • One answer accepted as correct for basic response to part (a) is rejected in part (d) as leading to an incorrect answer.
Common Core