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Lesson 3

Surface Area of Pyramids, Cylinders, and Cones

Some of the best-known images of pyramids are the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

Did you know that the first Egyptian

pyramid was actually a step pyramid?

The Step Pyramid of Djoser was built in

2630 BCE. It had six stepped layers and

stood 62 metres high.

was

made in 2600 BCE. (Remember time is

numbered backwards in BCE; 2600 BCE is

younger than 2630 BCE). This pyramid is

the Bent Pyramid because it was started at

one angle at the base but was changed near

the top because of a lack of stability. The

result was a curved pyramid shape. The

Bent Pyramid is 105 metres high.

Pyramid built in 2550 BCE. This pyramid

is 147 metres high!

By the end of todays lesson you will be

able to tell me the surface area of the

Great Pyramid.

From the last lesson, you might remember the definition of a pyramid.

pyramid: a 3-D object with a polygon base and triangular faces that

meet at a vertex (point)

hexagon, etc. The sides or faces of the pyramid always are triangles

meeting at a point at the top. Here is a question to ponder: Is finding the

surface area of a pyramid any different from finding the surface area of a

prism? The answer to this is yes and no!

Finding the surface areas of a pyramid and a prism involves the same

process. Draw a net, find the area of each of the pieces, and add them

together. Surface area of a pyramid is different from surface area of a

prism in that a pyramid has only one base and the faces are triangles

rather than rectangles. Try an example.

Why have we and why do we still build pyramids?

What would be the area of the square pyramid if we accounted for its

base as well?

You now have pyramids under control. Always remember to draw a net!

What about cylinders? How do we find the surface area of a cylinder?

First, what is a cylinder?

A cylinder is similar to a prism in that there are two parallel bases, but

this time, the bases are circles rather than polygons.

cylinder: a 3-D object with two parallel, congruent (equal) bases that are

circles

The net has two equal circles and a rectangular section, so

SA = 2Acir + Arec

Area of a circle: A = r2

We need the radius or diameter.

Area of the rectangle:

We need the length of the cylinder, h.

o Imagine unrolling a cylinder (such as a toilet paper roll try

this if you want!). As you unroll the cylinder, you will find that

perimeter, of the circle bases. Circumference is found by the

formula C = d = 2 r, so you need either radius or diameter

of the circular bases to find the width of the rectangle.

To conclude the rectangle section,

Arec = lw

Arec = wl

Arec = 2rh

Arec = dh

a rectangle as either A = lw

or A = wl.

a formula for the surface area of a cylinder, but it is important to

understand the net first rather than just use a formula blindly. Sometimes

you will not need to find the surface area of the entire cylinder but only

the rectangle section or one of the bases and the rectangle section. Nets

are the key!

Although we do not need it, we can write a general formula for the surface area of a

cylinder. Remember that this includes all pieces: the two circle bases and the

rectangle section.

SAcyl = 2Acir + Arec

SAcyl = 2r2 + 2rh

your formula booklet

under Chapter 5,

Surface Area of a

Cylinder.

If a pyramid is a pointy prism, then a cone is a pointy cylinder. The cone has one of

the most unique surface area formulas that you will consider.

cone: a 3-D object with a circular base and a sloped surface that tapers to a tip

As with the cylinder, draw a cone and its net to visualize its surface area:

How can we use this? We know the formula for the area of the small circle, but

what about the large partial circle? Do we have a formula for the shape made in the

net? In fact, the surface area of a cone has a special formula of

SAcone = r2 + rs

This is the same as saying (3.14 x radius x slant) + (3.14 x radius x radius)

where r2 is the area of the base and rs is the area of the partial circle wrapping

around the cone. In this formula, r is the radius of the base of the cone and s is

the slant height of the cone.

What is a cone?

A cone is a type of geometric shape. There are different kinds of cones. They all have a flat

surface on one side that tapers to a point on the other side.

We will be discussing a right circular cone on this page. This is a cone with a circle for a flat

surface that tapers to a point that is 90 degrees from the center of the circle.

Terms of a Cone

In order to calculate the surface area and volume of a cone we first need to understand a few

terms:

Radius - The radius is the distance from the center to the edge of the circle at the end.

Height - The height is the distance from the center of the circle to the tip of the cone.

Slant - The slant is the length from the edge of the circle to the tip of the cone.

Example:

What is the surface area of a cone with radius 4 cm and slant 8 cm?

Surface area = rs + r2

= (3.14x4x8) + (3.14x4x4)

= 100.48 + 50.24

= 150.72 cm2

Notice that, if you are not given the value for s, you can find it

using the right triangle with sides r, h, and s and the Pythagorean

Theorem. The formula of the Pythagorean Theorem is a2 + b2 = c2,

where c is the hypotenuse or longest side of a right triangle. To find

the slant height, s, the Pythagorean Theorem is

where r is the radius of the cone base, h is the height of the cone, and s is the

slant height of the cone.

bb

What if we needed to calculate the total area of the ground the mound

of oats covered and why would we want to know this piece of

information?

If we combined both pieces of information we could then calculate the

entire surface area of the mound. What is the surface area of both the

cone top and the circle base of the mound?

What is a sphere?

A sphere is a three dimensional version of a circle, like a basketball or a

marble. The definition of a sphere is "every point that is the same distance

from a single point called the center."

Terms of a Sphere

In order to calculate the surface area and volume of a sphere we first need

to understand a few terms:

Radius - The radius of a sphere is the distance from the center to the

surface. It will be the same distance for a sphere no matter where it is

measured from the surface.

Diameter - The diameter is a straight line from one point on the surface of

the sphere to another that goes through the center of the sphere. The

diameter is always twice the distance of the radius.

Surface Area of a Sphere

To find the surface area of a sphere we use a special formula. The answer

to this formula will be in square units.

Surface Area = 4r 2

This is the same as saying: 4 x 3.14 x radius x radius

Example Problem

5

in.

4r2

= 4 x 3.14 x 5 inches x 5 inches

= 314 inches2

Review what you have learned before you practise on your own:

Surface area of pyramids

An organized way to find the area of a pyramid is to use a

__________.

There is only ______ base in a pyramid.

Surface area of cylinders

The key to remember is that the width of the rectangular section of

a cylinder is equal to the _____________________________ of

the circular bases.

The general formula for surface area of a cylinder is SAcyl =

__________________

The general formula is made up of two ___________ bases plus a

_______________.

Surface area of cones

The general formula for the surface area of a cone is SAcone =

__________________

The general formula is made up of the base that has a formula of

___________ and a partial circle with a formula of

_____________.

Key terms

surface area

net

pyramid

cylinder

cone

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