USA TODAY® Related Activities
USA TODAY Related Activities provides
activities related to the concept of the lesson as well as
up-to-date Snapshot data.
How Many Gallons Are in an Ocean?
Materials: calculator, two
Work alone or in pairs.
The table shows various dimensions of the oceans, seas, and
gulfs of the world.
Source: The World Almanac
|South China Sea
|Gulf of Mexico
|Sea of Okhotsk
|Sea of Japan
|East China Sea
|Gulf of California
Procedure for the Activity
Step 1 An estimate for the volume of water in any of
the bodies of water given in the table can be found by multiplying
the area of the surface of the water by the average depth. However,
note that the area is in square miles and the depth is in feet.
The Yellow Sea has the least depth of the bodies of water given.
Estimate the volume of the Yellow Sea in cubic feet. Express
the answer in scientific notation and standard notation. You
will need the fact that one mile is 5280 feet.
Step 2 Use your estimate from Step 1. How many gallons
of water are in the Yellow Sea? Express the answer in scientific
notation and standard notation. You will need the fact that
one gallon is exactly 231 cubic inches.
Step 3 Select three more bodies of water from the table.
Find the number of gallons of water in each body of water. Express
the answer in scientific notation and standard notation.
Step 4 Suppose a swimming pool in the shape of a rectangular
prism measures 25 feet long by 15 feet wide by 5 feet deep.
If you emptied the Yellow Sea into swimming pools with these
dimensions, how many pools could you fill with the water?
Wrapping Up the Activity
Write a problem using the table at the beginning of this activity.
Write the problem on one of the index cards. Write the complete
solution on the second index card. Exchange your problem with
another student or group. Have the student or group check their
solution using your solution index card.