Quick summary: Students use Pi to calculate the area and volume of aluminium cans. They compare a range of methods to estimate the value of Pi.
This lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.
Learning goals for this activity include:
- Students analyse cylinders to establish formulas for surface area.
- Students solve authentic problems.
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Year 9 Mathematics:
- Calculate the surface area and volume of cylinders and solve related problems (ACMMG217)
Time needed: 50 min
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – encourage students to think outside the ‘square’ when trying to come up with creative solutions for circles.
Resources needed: Washed aluminium cans, rulers, callipers, accurate measuring jugs or weighing scales, string, protractors and any other equipment students might wish to try to solve their problems
Digital technology opportunities: Calculators, digital weighing equipment.
There’s an app for that: Pi – Fastest Pi(π) computation/benchmark program.
Assumed prior learning: Used compass, draw circles, measure length accurately, understands the concept of approximation, used different units of volume and weight, has used volume measuring flasks/cups.
Key words: Circumference, diameter, radius, Pi, irrational number, volume, area.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.
These Planet Ark resources were developed by Cool Australia with funding from the Alcoa Foundation.