Mass is a measure of the amount of matter (stuff) that something is made of.
Would you expect an elephant or a mouse to have a greater mass? An elephant is made of a greater amount of stuff and, therefore, has a greater mass. In this class we will measure mass in grams or kilograms . The mass of a penny is about 2 ½ to 3 grams. The mass of your teacher is about 50,000 grams (50 kg). The mass of an elephant is about 5,000,000 grams (5,000 kg).
Are mass and weight the same? We will compare mass and weight later. However, we measure mass with the same equipment we use to measure weight– a scale or “beam balance”. VB-302-3000 Electronic Precision Balance Scale [Online]. Flex Weigh Direct 2006-07. http://www.flexweighdirect.com/vb3023000/ The mass of this object is 2000 grams.
Volume is a measure of the amount of space something occupies or contains.
Imagine a pool ball and a tennis ball.
Compare the mass and volume of the two objects.
The two objects occupy approximately the same amount of space and so have approximately equal volumes.
The pool ball has a much greater mass than the tennis ball, as you can tell when you pick up the two objects.
Compare the mass and volume of a basketball and a bowling ball.
We use volume measurements everyday. Example: The gas tank in my car contains 15 gallons of gasoline (when it is full). Example: A bread recipe calls for 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of oil. In science class, the unit we will use to measure the volumes of liquids is the liter (L) . Think of the amount of space occupied by a 1-liter or 2-liter bottle of soda.
The equipment we will use to measure liquid volume in class will be the beaker and the graduated cylinder . Beakers are generally used to measure larger volumes. They do not have many markings. 250 ml Bomex Glass Beaker [Online]. Research Laboratory Supply, Inc. 2008. Researchsupply.net Graduated Cylinder, Glass, 50 ml [Online]. Science Stuff, Inc. 2008. Sciencestuff.com. Graduated cylinders get their name from many small markings (similar to a ruler) that are used to take a wide variety of large and small measurements.