Hints and solutions to Draw a Picture #9
A straight concrete sidewalk is to be 3 feet wide, 60 feet long, and
3 inches thick. How many cubic yards of concrete must a contractor order
for the
sidewalk if concrete must be ordered in a whole number of yards?
 A diagram always helps. Here is a picture of
the
planned sidewalk, with the length, width and thickness indicated:

The lengths are given in different kinds of units (inches, feet) and the
concrete is sold in different units still (cubic yards). So first, we
have
to settle on one kind of unit of length.

So, since we need to order concrete in cubic yards, let's do the whole
calculation in yards.

Since 1 yard = 3 feet, the sidewalk is to be 1 yard wide and 20 yards
long.
Also, 1 yard = 36 inches, thus the sidewalk is to 1/12 yard thick.

As shown in the figure, the shape of the sidewalk is that of a
rectangular box.
The volume of such a box is
length x width x height, so the
total volume of the sidewalk is
1 x 20 x 1/12 = 20/12 = 5/3 = 1.666.. cubic yards.

Finally, since he must order a whole number of cubic yards, the
contractor will need to order 2
cubic yards of concrete.