Measurement, or the way to find the size of things, is one of our most important tools. Measurements are numbers. We use units such as gallons, liters, centimeters, and hours to measure things. To measure we must find how many units there are in what we are measuring. The very first verse in the Bible describes what the three predominant areas of measurement are:
“In the beginning” – the measurement of time
“God created the heavens…” – the measurement of space
“…and the earth…” – the measurement of mass or weight
(We can also measure speed, temperature, air pressure, properties of electricity and the intensity of light.)
To measure space we can measure the distance, area, or volume of an object.
Distance: We are measuring distance when we find the length of a particular object. It is measured by counting the number of linear units (as in measuring a line).
Area: Our second way to measure space is by finding the area of something. We measure the linear distance over → and the linear distance up ↑ of an object. We are able then to count the number of square units (the intersecting lines forming imaginary squares).
Volume: The third way to measure space is by finding the volume or capacity of a container that holds something. In the measurement of volume, the simplest container is a box whose sides are all square. This kind of box is called a cube (like an ice cube) and the unit used is a cubic unit.