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To start out we know that the length of each side of the small cube is 1 cm. So using that we can find the volume of the small cubes.
Volume of a cube = side ^ 3
V small cube = (1 cm )^ 3 = 1^3 cm^3
V small cube = 1 cm^3
So if the volume of each of the small cubes is equal to 1, then we want to count the number of cubes in the entire figure.
The figure is 2 cubes high, 5 long (across the front) and 4 wide (going back into the screen)
So if you think about the figure as 2 layers (because the height is 2), we can easily figure out how many cubes are in each layer.
In each layer there are 5 x 4 cubes = 20 cubes
Then we have 2 layers
Total number of cubes = 2 layers * 20 cubes = 40 cubes
And from the first part of the problem we know the volume of each cube
Total volume = 40 cubes * 1 cm^3 / cube = 40 cm^3
So the solution to this problem is 40 cm^3
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