Andy Kemp

The Max Box Problem

By Andy | March 26, 2005 | 2 Comment

As part of mt PGCE course I had to create an ICT resource to teach some element of the Maths Curriculum.

I decided to try and tackle the traditional Max Box Problem in which you are presented with a sheet (in this case of paper, but it could be anything) and asked to find the open box with the biggest volume. I had at the time been reading through an issue of MicroMath (20/3 Winter 2004) and came across an interesting article:

The Power of Excel by Chua Boon-Liang and Wu Yingkang

In which the authors tried to present a novel approach to the Maximum area problem for a given length of fencing. Using this as a guide I decided to design a similar approach to tackle to Max Box Problem.

Screen Shot of MaxBox Excel File

I decided as I had gone to the trouble of putting it all together I may as well share the resource with other people who may find it helpful.

So here it is…

Excel File: MaxBox 2020

Essay: MaxBox Essay

To make the algebra a little easier I finally altered the essay to use squares of paper which where 20cm by 20cm.

If you find this useful or have any ideas on how I could improve this then drop me a comment!


10 April, 2005 Reply

Hi Andy,

I am glad you find the article (The power of EXCEL) I co-authored with Wu Yingkang interesting and also happy to see how it has helped you create an ICT resource for your PGCE course.

I have given something similar to what you have created to prospective teachers before and if you would email me at the address above, I could suggest some ideas on how you could improve on this ICT resource.

Finally, congratulations to you and Ruth on becoming parents-to-be soon.

Greetings from Singapore
Boon-Liang CHUA

12 June, 2005 Reply

Thank to all of you who raised "The Power of Excel" by Chua Boon-Liang and WU Yingkang. I did find the article extremely useful and helped me as teacher of mathematics (NQT) to look at it as an ICT lesson rather than algebraic calculations to find the volume using equations. I am glade I have a copy of Micro Math Vol 20/3 Autumn 2004. the is a review of max box by Kate Mackrell using Cabri 2+.

Mr. Said El Boukil
Teacher of mathematics (NQT)
Quintin Kynaston School London UK

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