Education Technology

Minimizing Surface Area of a Cylinder Given a Fixed Volume

Published on 11/04/2008

Activity Overview

Students will discover the relationship between radius and height of a cylinder so that surface area of a cylinder can be minimized while maintaining a fixed volume. This is just an introduction to a project that they will begin after this investigation. Once this is completed, they will redesign the packaging of a cylindrical can so that the least amount of material is used to hold the specified volume. Notes regarding the project are not included.

Before the Activity

Students will need to download the file "Geom_cylinders" onto their TI-nspire

During the Activity

The instructions for teachers and students are listed on the same file. Students will need a copy of the handout as they work through the activity.

After the Activity

Check out activity 8272, Design a Better Drink Can , as an extension.