Spherical Cylinders


'What's the relationship between the volume of a sphere and the volume of a cylinder of equal height and diameter enclosing Mr. Potato Head? '


Spherical Cylinders

Use the weblink below to investigate the relationship between a sphere and the cylinder that circumscribes it (same height and diameter as the sphere's diameter) then fill in any findings on the worksheet below. Once the relationship between the volume of a sphere and its surrounding cylinder has been discovered (how do we find the volume of a prism? hence a cylinder?), try the unusual problems that follow . . a human's survival may depend on it!




  • The aim of this activity is to discover, using knowledge of finding the volume of prisms and hence of a cylinder, how to calculate the volume of a sphere. Planet's, all types of balls etc. are spherically shaped, we ought to ask ourselves why?  Ask a physics teacher what's special about the structure or form of a sphere . . .
  • Visit the interactive website to "flatten" spheres into smaller cylinders. Is there a link between the spheres volume/height once flattened, and the volume/height of the cylinder surrounding it (whose height and diameter are equal to the spheres original diameter)? Apply this knowledge to some life-saving applications!
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