by Dan Meyer
July 13, 2013
Will it overflow?
How many meatballs will it take to overflow?
What is a number of meatballs you know is too high?
What is a number of meatballs you know is too low?
What information would be useful to know here?
- ImageThe height remaining in the pot
- ImageThe diameter of some sample meatballs
- ImageThe diameter of the pot
- ImageThe number of meatballs
- Teacher noteThis is where you ought to teach them how to find the volume of cylinders and spheres, if they don't already know.
The chef adds 50 meatballs to a different pot and it overflows. Determine possible dimensions for that pot and its sauce level.
The math worked out to 33 meatballs but the answer was 36. What might account for the difference?
The chef wants to combine all 36 meatballs into one meatball. How big will that meatball be? Will it still overflow?
- Teacher noteThe difference might be on account of the "lip" of the cylindrical pot. The pot has more volume than we calculated because it isn't a true cylinder.