Surface Area of Prisms Study Guide

Updated on Oct 5, 2011

Introduction to Surface Area of Prisms

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, you will learn how to identify various parts of a prism and how to use formulas to find the surface area of a prism.

A rectangular prism is a shape you see every day. Examples are bricks, cereal boxes, and some buildings. Sometimes, it is necessary to completely cover these objects. You might need to wrap a gift, determine how much siding is needed to cover a house, or make a label for a box.

A rectangular prism has six faces. The faces are parts of planes that form sides of solid figures. A rectangular prism has 12 edges. The edges are the segments formed by the intersection of two faces of a solid figure. A rectangular prism has eight vertices. Vertices are the points where the edges meet.


Using a Formula to Find the Surface Area of a Rectangular Prism

If you take a box apart and fold out all the sides, you will have six rectangles. You will have three pairs that are the same size. You could find the area of each rectangle and add up all their areas to obtain the total area.

Surface Area Of Prisms

You could make a chart to help you organize all the faces, or you could use a formula.


The Surface Area of a Cube

A cube is a special rectangular prism. All the edges of a cube have the same length, so all six faces have the same area.

Surface Area Of Prisms

Practice problems for these concepts can be found at: Surface Area of Prisms Practice Questions.

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