Volume of Irregular Objects

by Liz LaRosa




Per lab couple:


  1. Each lab couple will have a beaker of colored water.

  2. Place some of the colored water into your graduated cylinder.  

  3. Carefully read the meniscus and record the volume to the nearest mL.  Record in Table 1.

  4. Place one object into the graduated cylinder and record the volume in Table 1.

  5. Subtract the Final volume from the initial volume and you will have the volume of that object.

  6. Pour the water back into the beaker and retrieve the object.

  7. Repeat with a new object.

close up of meniscus in graduated cylinder

Close Up View of Liquid in Graduated Cylinder

The curved surface of the liquid is called a meniscus. As a standard procedure, always read the level of the liquid at the bottom of the curve

Source: http://www.lincoln.smmusd.org/staff/burdettet_web/meniscus.html



Table 1: Volume of Irregular Objects  in mL

  Object # 1 _____________ Object # 2 _____________ Object #3 _____________ Object #4 _____________
Starting Volume mL        
Ending Volume mL        
Volume of Object        



  1. What is a meniscus?

  2. Why is it important to keep the graduated cylinder on a flat surface when reading the meniscus?

  3. How does water displacement work when finding the volume of an irregular object?

  4. Why do you think we used colored water in this lab?

  5. What object had the most volume? __________ with _________mL

  6. Least volume? __________ with _________mL


2-3 sentences on what you learned.