A couple days ago I posted a question asking if anyong knew an approximate volume of an m&m because I am preparing an activity night for my church with actvities such as guessing how many of a certain item are inside a certain container of known volume. I guess m&m's aren't exactly proportional so maybe my volume question was an unfair question to ask.

Aside from not getting a response I will go ahead and give out the formula for making a very close guess of how many items are in a jar of known volume in case anyone wants to know. I know we all run into times where we could win a little prize if we get the closest. So here is the formula.

# of items in the container = occupied vol of the container/vol of one item inside the container.

This is easy to do if you are familiar with the basic geometric shape formulas like a sphere, rectangle, or cylinder. For example, a jellybean's volume could be estimated by comparing it to a small cylinder. You also need to practice guessing the occupied vol of the container taking into account the air pockets in between the items inside the container. I have found that its easiest to work in units of cubic centimeters or mL.