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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Instructor:
*Kelley Lipke*

Kelley has been teaching middle school for six years and has a master's degree in educational administration.

Have you ever wondered why we measure our drinks in liters and gallons? What about how much water it takes to fill up a fish tank or a swimming pool? Both of these ideas are related to volume and capacity. Keep reading to find out more!

Max received a new fish tank for his birthday. Before he can put his fish in it, he needs to figure out how much water he can use to fill the aquarium.

**Volume** is the amount of space inside a solid figure. These figures are 3-dimensional, meaning the figure has three parts including length, width, and height. We measure volume in cubic units.

**Capacity** is how much liquid a 3-dimensional figure can hold. We can measure capacity in multiple ways:

Metric System: liters and milliliters

Customary System: cups, pints, quarts, and gallons

In the metric system, we know that 1,000 milliliters equal 1 liter.

In the customary system, we are aware that:

2 cups = 1 pint

2 pints = 1 quart

4 quarts = 1 gallon

The capacity of a figure may change, while the volume stays the same. In this example, Max's tank will not change in size, but he can add or subtract the amount of water he puts in the tank.

To find out how much water the tank can hold, Max needs to measure the tank's **volume**. The formula for the volume of a rectangular prism is volume = length times width times height. So, Max will measure each of these dimensions and then multiply them.

V = l x w x h

V = 14 in. x 5 in. x 10 in.

V = 70 in. x 10 in.

V = 700 cubic inches

How much water can the new tank hold? The volume or amount of water the tank can hold is 700 cubic inches.

Let's say that the directions for the fish tank say to fill with 2 gallons of water. However, Max only has a 1-pint container for measuring. Max needs to figure out how many times he needs to fill the pint to equal 2 gallons.

We know that 1 gallon is made up of 4 quarts. But how many pints make 1 quart? 2 pints make 1 quart. Therefore, 2 x 4 = 8. Max needs to fill 8 pints to make 1 gallon of water.

Since Max needs 2 gallons of water to fill the tank, he will multiply 8 times 2, which gives him an answer of 16.

To fill the fish tank, Max needs to fill the pint container 16 times.

Example 1: Katie has a gift box that has a length of 8 inches, a width of 4 inches, and a height of 3 inches. How much space does Katie's gift box take up?

Since we need to find the amount of space that the box takes up, we know that we are calculating volume. Let's use our formula V = l x w x h.

V = 8 x 4 x 3

V = 96 cubic inches

After multiplying the length, width, and height, we know that Katie's box measures 96 cubic inches.

Example 2: Mark is at the beach and wants to fill his bucket with water to build a castle. The bucket can hold 2 gallons of water. How many quarts is this?

Since we know that 4 quarts equal 1 gallon, how will we find the number of quarts for 2 gallons? We will multiply 4 times 2.

Mark can fill the bucket with 8 quarts of water.

Both **volume** and **capacity** relate to how much a 3-dinemsional figure can hold. The difference between the two is the way we represent the measurements. We measure volume in cubic units, and capacity in units such as gallons, pints, and quarts.

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18 in chapter 13 of the course:

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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