Age Group: Years 5 – 6
Numeracy: Problem-solving to include; addition, subtraction, surface area, tessellations.
What do I need?
Selection of cans
A3 paper, scissors
This unit will contain a range of numeracy challenges based around the concept of fitting different can/box shapes onto flat sheets. Set in the context of pupils being designers with a challenge to be the most economical.
All of the tins and cans we see on our supermarket shelves begin life as flat sheets of aluminium or steel. These are then cut into the component shapes that will go to make the tin or can. It is important that as many parts as possible are fitted onto each flat sheet to minimise wastage. Any wastage that there is, is recycled.
This unit is numeracy based, giving the children the challenge of calculating ways to get as many component shapes as possible into a given area. They will be working as’ Packaging Engineers’ who have to design the layout for the cutting machines, work out the wastage left from each sheet and look for ways of minimising this through different arrangements of the components on the sheet.
Try the same activity, but using different sized pieces of paper to represent the metal sheet. Also, measure some other cans and use their dimensions.
Think about other shapes of tin – what shape tin would ensure no waste from an A3 sheet?