Grades 6–12. Introduce your students to the inclined plane, the simplest of the simple machines. The activities in this kit help students explore inclined planes, force, effort, mechanical advantage, and more.
After covering the basics on inclined planes, incorporate 1 or more of these lesson extensions:
- Measure the distance travelled by the mass, along with the force applied, to calculate the amount of work necessary to lift the load for each inclined plane.
- Alter the surface of the inclined plane with different materials and then determine the coefficient of friction for each.
- Repeat the lab activities using die-cast cars as the load, and discuss the difference between rolling and sliding friction.
- Use force sensors to collect more accurate data.
Kit includes instructions and inclined planes for 15 student pairs. Student groups use 5 different inclined plane setups and measure the force needed to lift a load. They also calculate the ideal and mechanical advantage and efficiency of each. Needed but not supplied for each pair: spring scale, meter stick, hanging mass, ring stand, and clamp. Kit does not cover special case inclined planes, wedges, and screws.