Student pairs are given 10 minutes to create the biggest box possible using one piece of construction paper. Teams use only scissors and tape to each construct a box and determine how much puffed rice it can hold. Then, to meet the challenge, they improve their designs to create bigger boxes. They plot the class data, comparing measured to calculated volumes for each box, seeing the mathematical relationship. They discuss how the concepts of volume and design iteration are important for engineers. Making 3-D shapes also supports the development of spatial visualization skills. This activity and its associated lesson and activity all employ volume and geometry to cultivate seeing patterns and understanding scale models, practices used in engineering design to analyze the effectiveness of proposed design solutions.

- Subject:
- Mathematics
- Geometry
- Measurement and Data
- Material Type:
- Activity/Lab
- Provider:
- TeachEngineering
- Author:
- Aaron Lamplugh
- Maia Vadeen
- Malinda Zarske
- Nathan Coyle
- Russell Anderson
- Ryan Sullivan
- Date Added:
- 02/07/2017