# How Thick Is a Soda Can I?

##### This How Thick Is a Soda Can I? lesson plan also includes:

The humble soda can gets the geometric treatment in an activity that links math and science calculations. After a few basic assumptions are made and discussed, surface area calculations combine with density information to develop an estimation for the thickness of the walls of the can. A great activity for developing measurement intuition, with the familiarity of the objects supporting the calculations in the metric system.

CCSS: Designed

##### Instructional Ideas

• Provide different densities of material to further develop the relationship between thickness and density
• Have the class propose different shapes for soda cans, using the same amount of raw aluminum material
• Suggested extensions include finding dimensions and mass of an actual soda can, and further investigating the assumption that the can is a cylinder
##### Classroom Considerations

• Providing density in English units would remove the unit conversion portion of this problem
• If units are left in metric, converting between magnitudes (mm to cm for example) might need more careful treatment than the answer key gives
##### Pros

• Clear discussion of simplifying assumptions
• Multi-step process pulls together unit conversions, surface area, and density considerations
• Great use of common materials as the basis for calculations
##### Cons

• Teacher notes and answer key not clearly separated from the class activity