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Converting Area and Volume Units

Converting Area and Volume Units

Converting Area and Volume Units

We measure area and volume in units with indices, as they contain multiple dimensions that we need to account for.

We use units with indices to measure area and volume as there are extra dimensions which we need to account for.

Remember that area of a square is calculated by multiplying the length of two sides together.


The area of a square is measured by multiplying the two side lengths

See the image

When we record area, it is given in square units. This is because we need to account for the length and height dimensions. Often we use square centimetres -cm2cm^2- or square metres -m2m^2. But how many square centimetres are in a square metre?

As there are 100cm in 1m, it can be easy to think there are 100cm2100cm^2 in 1m21 m^2; but this isn't correct. A square metre is:

100cm×100cm=10000cm2=1m2 100cm \times 100cm = 10000cm^2 = 1m^2


Here is a visual representation of the area in centimetres

Note the unit used for area

How many square centimetres are there in 2 square metres?

A similar approach can help us understand how many square metres in a square kilometre.

There are 1000m1000m in a kilometre.

How many m2m^2 are there in a square kilometre?

How many square metres are there in 4 square kilometres?

Volume is measured in cubic units, often cubic centimetres - cm3cm^3 - or cubic metres - m3m^3.

If we consider a 1m31m^3 cube we can calculate how many cm3cm^3 in 1m31m^3.


The calculation for volume of a cube

Notice the units used for volume

How many cubic centimetres are there in 3 cubic metres?

Similarly: 100mm2=1cm2 100mm^2 = 1cm^2

1000mm3=1cm31000mm^3 = 1cm^3

You may also have to work with a unit of area called hectares.

1 hectare (ha) = 10000m210000m^2

What is 85000m285000m^2 in hectares?