Cereal Box Design:
Finding Surface Area and Volume of a Rectangular Prism
Part math, part art, ALL creativity! This project is a fun way for students to demonstrate their understanding of surface area and volume. The assignment allows students the opportunity to find surface area using both nets and a formula. It also asks students to find the volume of a prism. At the end of the assignment, students are asked to write a short report explaining their findings. To extend the project, students can draw a new design for the front of the cereal box. If time permits, the project could be extended to having students create a three dimensional replica of the new cereal box design using cardstock. Additionally, Students could also practice their public speaking skills by presenting their results to the class.
There are many possibilities for adding on to this project to incorporate various areas of focus from your own classroom.
I included volume, surface area using nets, and surface area using a formula. Often students struggle to understand "why" the formula for surface are works. Creating an opportunity for students to practice finding the area of each side of a net could lead to a meaningful discussion about why the formula for surface area "makes sense!"
I also asked students to find the volume of the cereal box because the formula for surface area is often confused with the formula for volume. This assignment was designed to be more of a project to prepare students for the math performance tasks on the CAASPP/SBAC test.
I hope this assignment is as helpful for my students as it is for your students!
Instructions from the Assignment:
Scenario: You have been hired by a cereal box company to redesign their cereal boxes.
Part 1: Find a cereal box and measure the length width and height. Calculate the surface area of the cereal box using a net and a formula. Then, calculate the volume of the cereal box.
Part 2: Design a new cereal box with different dimensions. Calculate the surface area of the new cereal box using a net and the formula. Then, calculate the volume of the cereal box.
Part 3:Note the differences between the old and new box dimensions
Optional: Draw a new design for the front of the cereal box.