Posted by Alex on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 10:43pm.
The bases of a rectangular prism are squares whose perimeters are 36 inches. If the height of the prism is 8 inches, what is the surface are of the prism?

Math  MathMate, Friday, February 25, 2011 at 7:06am
The surface area of a prism consists of two parts:
1. area of the bases
2. area of the sides.
Even without knowing the dimensions of the bases, the area of the sides can be calculated if the perimeter is known:
Side area
= perimeter of base * height
= 36 inches * 8 inches
= 288 square inches.
Since the area of the bases are not known, you can only calculate the area of the sides, which is probably the answer required.
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