How do you increase the horsepower of a car engine? Students calculate the volumes of different car cylinders, and explore ways to make engine even more powerful by changing the dimensions of an engine's internal geometry.
Which is better: crunchy or puffy Cheetos? Students calculate the surface area : volume ratio for each snack to determine which one tastes cheesier.
What's the ideal size for a soda can? Students use the formulas for surface area and volume of a cylinder to design different cans, calculate their cost of production, and find the can that uses the least material to contain a standard 12 ounces of liquid.