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What is Volume in Science? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:02 What Is Volume?
  • 1:09 Is Volume the Same as Weight?
  • 1:50 An Experiment
  • 2:17 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

You may know of the many ways to talk about an object, from how tall it is to what color it is. But did you know that there's another way to describe an object? In this lesson, we will talk about volume.

What Is Volume?

Look at an object next to you and describe it. There are many ways to describe an item. For example, you might talk about its color, shape, and size or whether it's hard or soft. When you talk about an object in this way--based on what it looks like, feels like, or by taking simple measurements--you are describing its physical properties. Objects have many physical properties. One physical property you may not have heard of is volume.

Volume refers to the amount of space the object takes up. In other words, volume is a measure of the size of an object, just like height and width are ways to describe size. If the object is hollow (in other words, empty), volume is the amount of water it can hold. Try this at home: Take a large cup and a small cup. Fill the small cup with water, then pour the water into the big cup. Since the amount of water that filled the small cup is not enough to fill the large cup, what can you figure out about the volume of the cups? The smaller cup has less volume!

Is Volume Same as Weight?

It is important to keep in mind that volume is NOT the same as weight. Weight is also a physical property, but unlike volume, it refers to how heavy something is. For example, something that is large and made of plastic, like an empty milk jug, is going to weigh a lot less than something that is large and made of metal, like a cooking pot.

Volume is ONLY related to the amount of space an object takes up, so you can't measure it with a scale (like the one you might have in the bathroom). Instead, you measure volume by taking measurements of each side of the object and multiplying them all together. But that's a different lesson for math class! A simpler way to measure volume is with measuring cups.

An Experiment

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