Real World Math: Concept Lessons - Volume of Solids

Volume and Surface Area problems appear three dimensionally in this collection of Google Earth locations. 

With the “3D Buildings” mode in Google Earth’s “Layers” selected, the students will be able to view and pan around these solids. Each placemark icon includes the necessary dimensions students need to complete the Geometric Solids Worksheet.

Since teachers differ in their expectations of work for these types of problems, the formulas are not included in the Google Earth file nor the worksheet.  The polyhedron included in the file are sphere, prism, and pyramid.  As usual, additional locations can be added to the file.  That might make an interesting exercise for students.

Note:  The value of this lesson may depend on the performance of the computer system.  Internet connection is required to view 3D buildings and load times will vary depending on the computer’s capabilities.  Almost all of the locations include a photo image of the actual building to compensate for any difficulties that may arise.


  • Find the volume of geometric solids using a formula
  • Find the surface area of geometric solids using a formula

Student Worksheet

Algebra & Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Measurement & Time
Middle School, High School

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