Surface Area with a Difference

1 06 2013

Recently my pre-service teacher wanted a practical lesson for surface area incorporating technology. She came up with 2 scenarios using Google Sketchup.
Scenario 1
a). Using Sketchup, draw a house that consists of a rectangular prism base and pyramid roof.
The dimensions of the base of the prism need to have a total perimeter of 20 m.
b). Draw a door on one of the sides of the house that has an area of 3 square metres
c). Draw 2 windows on 2 different sides which both have an area of 2 square metres
d). Using the “dimensions” tool, place the labels for all critical dimensions onto the house. Copy the screen and save in a Word file.
e). Calculate the surface area of the outside walls and roof of the house.
f). Calculate the inside volume of the house (assume no wall width and no internal walls or ceiling)

We then wanted a component of the lesson which was a little more relevant to the girls in the class.
Scenario 2
Mary wants to make a birthday cake for her friend Tom. She wants to bake a 3 layer cake for his birthday.
a) Using Sketchup, draw a cake that consists of 3 layers of rectangular prisms. Each layer must be 10cm shorter in length than the layer below
b) Using the “dimensions” tool, place the labels for all critical dimenions onto the cake. Copy the screen and save in a Word file.
c) Calculate the surface area of the cake to be covered with icing (assume that only the visible faces of the cake will be iced)
d) Mary has discovered rectangle cake decorations that have a surface area of 8 square centimetres. Calculate how many decorations will be needed to completely cover the visible surface of the cake.

The students were fully engaged by the lesson. As they left the class they were each given a muffin with a fondant lego brick as decoration on top.
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