MA 105: Designing a Box

Partner's name (if any):

This is a graded activity. Work with a partner or (if materials permit) alone. Each student should hand in her or his own work.

The object of this activity is to study volume and area in context.

  1. You will be using an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper to build a box. Think of a purpose for your box and write it below. (If you would like to design a larger container, your purpose could be to build a model of the larger container.)





  2. Think about how you will need to cut and fold the paper to make your box. Try to design the box so that very little of the paper is wasted in construction. (If your box is very small you may be able to make several copies of it to use up all the paper.) Come up with a plan for the shape you will cut out of the paper and sketch your design below:







  3. Use scissors and tape to assemble your box. Use the space below to describe any difficulties you encountered or changes you made in your design.





  4. What is the surface area of your box?




  5. How much paper was used in making your box?




  6. How much paper was left over after the box was made?




  7. Do you think much paper was wasted when making the box? Explain.




  8. What is the volume of your box?



  9. If you were going to mass produce and sell boxes like this, what features would you change? For example, would you use plastic or paper? Would you use tape to hold it together? Would you sell the boxes ready made or with some assembly required?