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This activity sheet, containing twenty exercises, has students using real formulas from
mathematics and science as the literal equations.
In each exercise students are told which variable they need to solve for. Of the twenty exercises, five have been starred. When students have solved these five literal equations for the new variable, the students are asked to write a sentence explaining what this new formula tells them about the relationship of the other variables in the formula.
Common formulas include
• the area of a triangle
• the area of a circle
• the volume of a cone
• the work equation
• the area of a trapezoid
• the formula for acceleration
• the formula for the total angle measure in a regular polygon
• the Pythagorean Theorem
• the surface area of a cone
• the surface area of sphere
• the volume of a sphere
• the surface area of a cube
• the formula for the measure of one angle of a regular polygon
• the perimeter of a rectangle
• the formula for the conversion between Fahrenheit and Centigrade
• the formula for the surface area of a rectangular prism
• the formula for the height of a projectile
• the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism
A set of solutions for all exercises is included.