A Question of Volume

This week I was the substitute teacher for 8th grade Introductory Physical Science. To stretch those young minds and break up the seat work a bit, they were given a challenge to see what they understand about volume.

They could work individually or with partners.

The Challenge:

The town of Bumpus had inherited a square lot of land measuring 10 meters on each side. They were planning to construct a water tank on the land.

The select-people were excited because the Botley Steel Company had indicated that they would provide for free a number of pieces of steel which when welded together would measure 30 meters by 10 meters. A local concrete company was also providing the base for the tank.

At the public hearing, select-person Horace proposed that the tank be constructed so that it was a cylinder 30 meters high and 10 meters around.

“This is the best way to do it,” he said, “because the height of the tower will allow it to hold more water than any other way of constructing it.”

Select-person Boris disagreed, saying that if the town built the tank 10 meters high and 30 meters around it would hold more water than if it were built Horace’s way.

Select-person Horace countered with, “Not only are you wrong about the volume of water the tank would hold, but your tank wouldn’t fit on the lot!”

Was Boris or Horace correct? Provide graphic and written evidence to support your answer. Show all math used to answer the question.

Some of the results:

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