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In the past few years, ice cubes have become a big thing. Literally. In glasses all over America, people are chilling their drinks with extra-large ice. But what is it about these heavy-duty crystals that have made them all the rage?

In this lesson, students use surface area, volume, and rates to explore the relationship between the size of ice cubes and how good they are at doing their job: chilling.

Students will

  • Calculate number and dimensions of ice cubes needed to fill a given volume
  • Given a fixed volume, calculate the individual and total surface area for different sizes of ice cube
  • Use melting rates to calculate changes in ice volume over time
  • Compare pros and cons of different cube sizes to choose an optimum ice configuration for a given volume

Before you begin

The lesson revolves around volume and surface area of cubes, so students should be able to calculate those values.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices