Homework problems

Stupid activity of the week for our kids (this is for 6th grade):
  1. Select an object. (He chose a book.)
  2. Measure the dimensions of the object 
  3. Calculate the surface area and volume.
  4. If you were to place this object into a cylindrical mailing tube, what should be the dimensions of the tube?
  5. What about a triangular prism?
  6. Rectangular prism?
  7. What are the surface areas and volumes of these boxes?
  8. Determine which of these boxes fits your object best.
  9. Explain why.
  • Time required: 90 minutes, minimum.
  • Educational value (0-10): 2. 
  • Opportunity cost (cost of time wasted which could have been spent doing something useful, instead of cutting and taping cardboard) (0-10): 9.
  • Teacher's perception of the "fun" value of project (0-10): 9.
  • Students' perception of the "fun" value of project (0-10): 0.
  • Potential student frustration level when the cardboard doesn't cut and the tape doesn't stick (0-10): 8.
  • Requisite parent participation level when frustrated kid wastes an hour and a half on a dumb-&^% and pointless assignment building a box, and parent gets exasperated by the time wasted and takes over (0-10): 6.
Addendum: Apparently, this got worse. In class today, they had to make up a story about where they were sending the box!