I used Mega M&M’s to motivate rotational volumes in BC Calculus this week.


  • Took a long time to gather data (found here) and get started (overall we spent ~an hour on the activity, data and initial setup was about 20 minutes).
  • Great motivation to find the volumes of the actual chocolate to check Mars’ claim.
  • Difficult, in the time allotted, to find (and eventually give in and explain) a method that we could easily and quickly use in class to measure the volumes.
  • Desmos link was not as useful as hoped, students took it for granted that the ellipse was the way to go, and because the desmos pictures weren’t to scale, they weren’t useful when finding the equations. Need to use pixel measurements to find relational candy+chocolate to chocolate ratio.
  • One major problem: I’m pretty sure they all used the same info, yet they all got (slightly) different answers. Uh oh.

I liked the activity, it was the first time I’ve used it in class, but it needs tweaking.

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Extra action for this week: Can you arrange the numbers 1 through 36 in a ring so that consecutive numbers sum to perfect squares?




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