Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Real Life Snow Removal and a freebie!

This is a reprint of one of my posts on my blog MissMathDork for our monthly Math IS Real Life link up.  
The original post can be found here.

This month's Math IS Real Life idea came to me VERY EARLY in December when the first snow fell!  We don't often get a lot of accumulating snow where I live, but our first one this year left us with 7 inches.  Thankfully for us, we thought ahead and put the cars in the garage so it was easy to shovel all the snow out.  As my husband and I were shoveling it occurred to me that we were shoveling a lot of snow and I wondered exactly how much.... no, really, that thought really did cross my mind!

So, I decided that I would take a few pics, keep track of the snow that has fallen in the month of December and determine just how much snow we have shoveled!  

Before I start the math, here are some pictures for reference :)

Here's a picture of our driveway before we shoveled.
Here's a picture of our driveway after shoveling!
 So here is a quick diagram of my approximate driveway - it actually tapers a bit at the end, but I didn't need an EXACT measurement of how much snow we have shoveled, just a really nice estimate.  Our driveway covers 880 square foot of property which is equivalent to 126,720 square inches!  Yikes, that's a lot of coverage even without any snow! 
Our three snows were 7 inches, 3 inches, and 3 inches respectively, for a total of 13 inches in December (that's A LOT for us!).  

13 total inches deep * 126,720 square inches of driveway = 1,647,360 cubic inches of snow removed in December!

That's equivalent to 953.33 cubic feet of snow removed! YIKES!

And, if that weren't enough snow.... my in-laws live around the corner!  Whenever possible, we like to sneak over and clean their driveway before they have a chance.  They typically don't move their cars inside the garage.  While this makes it a bit more complicated to shovel around, it does mean less snow to remove.  We only were able to get their driveway shoveled two times - the 7 inch snow and one of the 3 inch snows, for a total of 10 inches of snow. 

Their driveway takes up about 800 square feet of property which is equivalent to 115,200 square inches of driveway.  

Car #1 takes up 74.25 square feet of surface (10,692 square inches).
Car #2 takes up 52.5 square feet of surface (7,560 square inches).

Total Driveway Area - Car #1 Area - Car #2 Area:

800 square feet - 74.25 square feet - 52.5 square feet = 673.25 square feet
115,200 square inches - 10,692 square inches - 7,560 square inches = 96,948 square inches 

Now that the area of the driveway with the cars has been calculated, we can deal with the snow accumulation.  Lucky for us we only dealt with 10 inches of the snow!!! WOOO LOVE MULTIPLES OF 10!!

So..... 969,480 cubic inches of snow were removed from my in-laws driveway or 561.04 cubic feet.

I was so busy trying to sneak in this shoveling that I forgot to grab a before picture of my in-law's driveway... but here's an after!
AND..... the TOTAL amount of SNOW REMOVED from BOTH driveways in the month of December ........... *DRUMROLL* ..........

1,647,360 cubic inches + 969,480 cubic inches = 2,616,840 cubic inches of snow
953.33 cubic feet + 561.04 cubic feet = 1514.375 cubic feet of snow removed.

YIKES, that is soooo much snow when you really think about it, AND it's kind of an awesome problem for kiddos to think about.  Soooooo.... I made this problem into a FREE printable multi-step word problem for your kiddos.  There are two versions for differentiation - one asking the students to find the cubic inches (easier) and one asking the students to find the cubic feet (slightly harder because they have to know the fraction or decimal of a foot they are dealing with)

You can download the FREEBIE by clicking on the picture below!  I'd love for you to leave me some feedback LOVE on TpT too!

Imagine extending this even further and having students "charge" a price per cubic inch!  Heck, I'd be willing to charge just a penny per cubic inch!  That seems like a deal.... right?!


Math IS Real Life is a monthly link up hosted by 4 ATUE collaborators.
On the 1st Wednesday of each month we write about how we have used math in OUR real lives.  We include pictures that you can easily share in your classroom, as well as possible freebies, and activity ideas!  

Interested in more Math Is Real Life posts?  Check out our Pinterest board!
Interested in linking up? Join us again on February 5th, 2014 for the next edition!

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1 comment:

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE whenever real life is brought into classroom lessons!!!! Makes me want to teach Math!!!!!

    The Teacher's Desk 6


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