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How is volume measured?

Volume has 3 dimensions:  length, width and height.  Measuring the volume of a cube is easy:  just multiply the length by the width by the height.  For a sphere, it's a bit more complicated:

cube and sphere

 Sphere volume = 4/3 x 3.14 x  radius³
Cube volume = length x width x height

In the metric system, the basic unit of length is the meter.  We can express volume as cubic meters (m³).  But a cubic meter is fairly big, about the size of a coffee table.  What about measuring the volume of smaller things?  For these, it's easier to express volume in cubic centimeters (cm³, also called cc). 

The basic metric unit of measuring liquids is the liter.  A liter is slightly larger than a quart--1.0567107047330495 quarts, to be exact!

See how many metric units are in English units and vice versa!
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Brain Twister Activity
Convert your height into centimeters and your weight into kilograms! (Hint: Use this calculator. This link will open in a new window, close the window to return to this lesson module. )

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