Measuring the Volume of a Liquid

Measuring the volume of a liquid can sometimes be challenging and confusing to those who are just learning how to do so for the first time. Although it is measured differently than that of a solid, the idea is relatively the same. The process of accurately taking this measurement requires a little patience and practice, but can be mastered fairly easily.

At its most basic level, volume is simply a measure of space. When measuring the volume of a liquid, sometimes referred to as capacity, the units liters (L) and milliliters (mL) are used. Devices used for this measurement include graduated cylinders, beakers, and Erlenmeyer flasks. Depending on the amount you are dealing with, different containers will be used. Graduated cylinders are more precise and ideal for a small amount of liquid because its hash marks measure up to 250mL, while beakers or Erlenmeyer flasks are better for larger measurements because they can contain up to 1000 mL.



To find this measurement, you must pour the designated amount into one of these containers. When water is placed into a container, it takes on a curved shape known as the meniscus. These devices are calibrated so that, when viewed at eye level, the bottom of the meniscus will give the most precise result. It is important to properly read the meniscus at eye level and be precise when measuring in order to accurately find a volume.

With practice it will be fairly easy to master this measurement and accurately find the correct measure of the liquid you are dealing with. Although it can seem challenging, this measuring process just requires a little patience and diligence. Help your kids the first few times with this process, making sure that the measurement is taken at eye level, and eventually they will be able to succeed at this task with ease.

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