A puzzle game called Rubik’s Cube was very popular in the 1980’s. The classic Rubik’s Cube is made up of 27 smaller cubes with different colors on the visible faces of the smaller cubes. The object of the game is to pivot the larger cube so that each face has a consistent color. The Rubik’s Cube is a perfect example of how a larger cube can be packed with smaller cubes to demonstrate volume.
Now, imagine an even smaller cube, where each side of this cube is one-half the length of a side of one of the smaller cubes in the Rubik’s Cube. You would need eight of these much smaller cubes to make up one of the small cubes in a Rubik’s Cube. Now imagine that each of the 27 cubes in a Rubik’s Cube is made up in this way. How many of the smallest cubes will it take to create the Rubik’s Cube? Well, that’s the kind of problem students will need to figure out in the activity, Volume of a Rectangular Prism with Fractional Edges. Not only will students pack prisms with cubes to solve problems, but they will also use formulas.