Box Folding: An
Exercise in Prediction, Measurement, and Analysis
Main Page | Folding Boxes | Gathering Data | Organizing Data | Using the Applet | Questions | Formulas and Graphs
Introduction: Many students at the middle and high school level
experience difficulty understand the concept of volume. This venerable
activity* has been
used for decades without technology to convey
changes that occur in volume when folding boxes. With the addtion of
the simulation tool, a java applet, and spreadsheets, we can collect
more data and explore patterns in the data more easily.
Goals connected to learning
standards: Students should be able to
- colored grid paper(You will have to adjust the page settings to get the paper to print as a grid of square centimeters.)
- Spreadsheet program (files included here were made in
- puffed rice or other space filling material
- Graphing calculator (optional)
- select and apply
techniques and tools to accurately find length, area, volume, and angle
measures to appropriate levels of precision (PSSM)
appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements (PSSM)
- understand and use
formulas for the area, surface area, and volume of geometric figures,
including cones, spheres, and cylinders (PSSM)
- Take a piece of the grid
paper and cut the blank strips
from around the edges so that only the grid itself remains.
- Next, cut away squares from each of the four corners.You may
away a single square from each corner, or, say, a square that is a 3x3
square from each corner. Have other people in your group cut away
squares of different sizes from the corners. For example, the grid with
3x3 squares and 6x6 squares cut away will look like those below.
|Grid paper with 3x3 squares
|Grid paper with 6x6 squares
- Fold the paper into boxes. It does not matter if the grid
the inside or the outside
of the box.
Proceed to next page.
M., & Humphreys, C. (1990). A
collection of math lessons from grades 6 through 8.White Plains, NY:
Math Solutions Publications.