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Cylinders and Scale

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    The Exploratorium

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Cylinders and Scale

In this activity, learners investigate the relative growth of lengths, areas, and volumes as cylinders are scaled up. Learners connect their experience with cylinders to the world outside the classroom by discussing examples where they encounter cylinders in their everyday life (i.e. cans, pipes). This resource guide contains background information, discussion questions and extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model

English, French

Materials List (per group of students)

  • Butcher paper (a few feet)
  • One film canister
  • One large, flat sheet of graph paper (centimeter paper works well)
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • One pound of sand
  • One plastic picnic plate, aluminum pie pan or the like
  • Tagboard or old file folder (optional)
  • Compass (optional)
  • One blank cylinders chart


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Architectural Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Construction
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Circles
      • Rate
    • Problem Solving
    • Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All Rights Reserved, The Exploratorium, ©2000

Funding Source:

  • Unisys


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