27. March 2017

Task of the Week: Weight of the Quai 43

The current “Task of the Week” from the trail “La Doua” in Lyon, France, shows that the MathCityMap project is already implemented internationally. Originally, the task is in French and will be translated for the Analysis.


Task: Weight of the Quai 43 (Task Number: 855)

The building “Quai 43” has the shape of an ocean liner, which is built on ten concrete columns. Determine the weight of the building in tons (reinforced concrete weights 2.5t/m³).


To approximate the weight, it is necessary to calculate the volumes of the individual walls and floor slabs. To do so, the length and width of the building are determined through measuring. Afterwards, the area and the perimeter of the building (idealized as a rectangle) can be calculated. The building includes two floors and therefore the area can be counted three times. To determine the volume of the walls and floor slabs, it is further necessary to determine the height of the building and the thickness of a wall/floor slab. Afterwards, the students can calculate the different volumes through the formula of a cuboid. With help of a multiplication with the density, the approximate weight of the building can be found.

This task is a geometric and architectural problem which includes measuring of lengths as well as determining of field volumes. Especially modelling is in the center as the form of the building is approximated to a cuboid. Afterwards, the students have to consider which walls and floor slabs are relevant for the building’s weight. The task can be used from grade 7, especially in the context of cuboids and compound fields.

This task is only one of many examples which show that the MathCityMap project is an international project which stands out due to its universal use at several locations.

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