French toast math: Skillet area

A friend moved and passed along an electric skillet to our family, still in the box. We already had an electric skillet, chipped but working fine. The question we wondered was, which one has the most area for frying french toast? First, we all predicted which one we thought was bigger, and gave reasons for our predictions.


We measured both and found out that surprisingly, they both had the same distance around the edges, perimeter, of 59 inches. Their areas, length x width, were different though. The newer one was longer, 19.5in.x 10 in., with an area of 195 square inches on its cooking surface. The older one was more square-shaped, 14 in. x 15.5 in, with an area of 247 square inches.


So the older model had 22 square inches more cooking space (247-195). This meant that the newer skillet had 9% less cooking space (take the difference in areas divided by the original: 22/247=.09). About two extra pieces of french toast would fit on the older one.


Our final decision? The longer one fit better on the counter and was newer, so we kept it!


What math did we get from this kitchen story problem?


Area of a rectangle: length x width

Multiplication: multiplying decimals with checking on a calculator

Measuring perimeter with a ruler: distance around

Units: Area is square units; perimeter is units to the first power.

Difference/How much more: subtracting the areas

Percent less: (original-new)/original

Variables: area, shape, age of skillet

Math for the day: done


And of course, don’t forget the French toast!


6 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

bread or buns-Older buns that need to be used up are fine.


Heat skillet to high, and grease the cooking surface with butter or cooking spray. Beat the eggs with a fork. Mix all the ingredients except the bread. Dip the bread into the mixture, and fry for about 3 minutes on each side.


What a tasty way to do math at home!


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