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Surface Area and Volume Resources

Best of the Web. Picked by our PhDs

Websites

3D Shapes

An interactive site that helps you visualize pretty much any 3D shape you'll ever need. If nets have got you in a tangled mess, you can take a gander at them and cut yourself loose. Rotate the solids and you'll be counting edges, vertices, and faces instead of sheep to fall asleep at night.

Basic Mathematics: Volume

This nifty website will clearly go through every shape and explain how to calculate its volume. It also has some fun math games at the bottom that you can procrastinate with.

Surface Area and Volume Quiz

By now, you've got some mad surface area and volume skillz. Use this quick 6-question quiz and test yourself to see how awesome your geometry chops really are. We're sure you'll ace it, no problem.

Videos

How to Turn a Sphere Inside Out

Have you ever wanted to turn a sphere inside out? If you think it can't be done, just take a look at this.

Volume and Surface Area

A clear and easy-to-understand visualization of the surface areas and volumes of some essential shapes. It's also set to some groovy music, so turn up the volume (get it?) and take a dance break while you're at it.

Plotting Points in 3D

If plotting points in three dimensions seems like something for a rocket scientist, this video's got your back. It will explain everything you need to know to get started working in the third dimension, from point-plotting to distance-finding to midpoint-calculating. Before you know it, you'll have a third degree in the third dimension.

Games and Tools

Illuminations: Geometric Solids

This interactive tool lets you play with Platonic solids. You can rotate them, enlarge them, and even create your own nets to print out and fold up. Like a marriage counselor between you and surface areas, it'll help you understand each other better. Together, you'll build a solid (relationship).

Volume Shape Shoot Game

How voluminous is your knowledge of 3D shapes? Earn points by clicking on the flying solids. Sit back, relax, and click when the spirit moves you, or be a daredevil and select timed mode. Whatever tickles your fancy. Be careful, though, since you lose points by clicking on the wrong solid.

Surface Area Calculator

Now that you know what it takes to find the surface area, you can leave it up to a calculator. Just select the shape you need, input the measurements, and presto! And if you want a refresher on the actual formulas used, just scroll down.

Volume Calculator

When heights and cubic units have got you down, just pop in the solid's values into a volume calculator and let it do the work for you. The formulas are all spelled out below too, just in case you want to take a crack at volume the old-fashioned way.