This lesson unit is intended to help teachers assess how well students are able to solve problems involving area and volume, and in particular, to help you identify and assist students who have difficulties with the following: computing perimeters, areas and volumes using formulas; and finding the relationships between perimeters, areas, and volumes of shapes after scaling.
The purpose of this task is for students to apply the concepts of mass, volume, and density in a real-world context. There are several ways one might approach the problem, e.g., by estimating the volume of a person and dividing by the volume of a cell.
In this activity, learners explore scale by using building cubes to see how changing the length, width, and height of a three-dimensional object affects its surface area and its volume. Learners build bigger and bigger cubes to understand these scaling relationships.
Students analyze and begin to design a pyramid. Working in engineering teams, they perform calculations to determine the area of the pyramid base, stone block volumes, and the number of blocks required for their pyramid base. They make a scaled drawing of the pyramid using graph paper.