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Mrs. Hatch’s Popcorn Project

Students in Mrs. Hatch’s seventh grade math classes had an exciting and delicious math lesson using popcorn!
First, students made popcorn prisms to compare volume. Students were given two sheets of paper that were exactly the same size. Students folded one sheet of paper in half the long way to create a baseless rectangular prism that was tall and narrow. Then, students folded the other sheet of paper in half the wide way to form a baseless rectangular prism that was short and stout. The students had to then hypothesize which container would hold more popcorn.

Next, students made popcorn cylinders to compare volume. Again, students started with two identical sheets of paper. One sheet was rolled along the longest side to form a baseless cylinder that was tall and narrow. The other sheet was rolled along its shorter side to form a baseless cylinder that was short and stout. Students were then asked to hypothesize which cylinder would hold more popcorn.

Many students, including Alicia Donovant and Pearson Boyd, hypothesized that the taller cylinder and the taller prism would hold more popcorn than their shorter counterparts. To their astonishment, their hypothesis turned out to be incorrect! The shorter cylinder and prism both held more popcorn! Aaliyah DeJarnette, Hammad Nasir, and Iesha Coleman all thought that the two prisms would hold the same amount and that the two cylinders would hold the same amount. All three students were also incorrect. Another seventh grader, Brittani Hatch, summed up the project by stating, “Even though all the papers were the same size, all hold different volumes.”

Shamore Adams said, “I thought that the shorter cylinder and prism would hold more than the taller ones. My hypothesis was proven right!” Fatima Osborne also made a correct hypothesis.

All of Mrs. Hatch’s students enjoyed this special math project. One student, Emily Sellars, observed, “I was surprised at how much of a difference there was between the larger shapers and the smaller shapes. It was cool to visualize the difference.” Perhaps the most observant student was Magaly Ruiz who noted, “This project had many aha moments.”
After working hard on the math lesson, students got to eat the popcorn in class. Congratulations to Mrs. Hatch and her dedicated math students for working hard to learn about volume.