Just How Big is a Super Mario Pipe?

In this post, we are going to determine plausible sizes of a Super Mario pipe. Let’s look at the curriculum expectations for grade 8 math:

  • determine, through investigation using a variety of tools and strategies (e.g., generalizing from the volume relationship for right prisms, and verifying using the capacity of thin-walled cylindrical containers), the relationship between the area of the base and height and the volume of a cylinder, and generalize to develop the formula (i.e.,Volume = area of base x height);
  • determine, through investigation using concrete materials, the surface area of a cylinder (Sample problem: Use the label and the plastic lid from a cylindrical container to help determine its surface area.);
  • solve problems involving the surface area and the volume of cylinders, using a variety of strategies (Sample problem: Compare the volumes of the two cylinders that can be created by taping the top and bottom, or the other two sides, of a standard sheet of paper.).


For the purposes of this task, we will use Super Mario 1. Familiarize yourself with it below:

Although the graphics have improved, the character sizes have not changed. Mario is estimated to be 155 cm tall (5’11”) and approximately 200 pounds.


1) Estimate the height and weight of the remaining characters.


2) Based on the data above, estimate the dimensions of the pipe pictured here:


3) Considering Bowser must travel through these worlds, determine the volume of these pipes. How much space is there inside to allow Nintendo characters to safely travel through them.


4) Looks like the pipes need some work. How much paint is needed to re-coat this pipe once?


5) How tall is the flagpole?


Space Invaders Math – Making Reasonable Predictions

This is the latest arcade machine added to my collection.

What year do you think this was released? (Click to reveal)

SI Before

How many quarters do you think have gone through this game since then? (Play to reveal)

How much is that in dollars?

Let’s pretend that was all collected in the first two years of the game’s release.
Considering inflation (say 2%-3% per year), what do you think that amount was worth in 1990? (Click to reveal)

1990 before

2000? (Click to reveal)

2000 after

2014? (Click to reveal)

2014 after

Tasks for Today – Feb 4

Finding the surface area of cylinders can be quite challenging and there is no better way to understand it than practice. Today we will work in small groups on the word problems attached here. It would be good advice to draw each cylinder for each problem to give you a better understanding.


Language Arts

Go ahead, make up new words! Please watch the video below:

Afterwards, do a ten minute quick write. Nothing pre-planned, just write about made up words in your generation and explain what they mean. Please write this short post on your blog. We will expand this lesson on Friday.

When you are finished, head over to edmettle and award someone. I’ll bet you caught someone doing something uber cool this week.

Opening Doors

To further our discussion of the “soft skills”, check out an example of perseverance demonstrated by this student named Josh. Let’s celebrate this as a success and look towards how he was determined to make friends and do something nice. It’s not always about grades. As a matter of fact, it should never be about grades, but about the learning process.

Opening a door is more than a physical act. It’s about putting yourself out there, getting to know people, making them feel comfortable, and making them feel welcome. After being bullied, Josh decided to make a change that ultimately had a dramatic impact on his life and on the lives of his fellow students. We hope his story is as inspiring to you as it is to us.