Middle School Physical Science Teacher Guide

(PS-3852)

Features 23 core lab activities that cover the fundamental concepts of Force & Motion, Energy Transfer, Electricity & Circuits, Fluids and more.

Simple Machines and Force

Lab Summary

Use a force sensor to measure the force required to lift a mass with varying configurations of fixed and moveable pulleys.

Theory

In this activity, students investigate the way simple machines decrease the amount of force necessary to cause an object to move. Using the force sensor, students measure the force required to lift an object, and then lift that same object with the use of two different arrangements of pulleys – a fixed pulley and a moveable pulley. Students then graph the force versus time for each system.

Students will investigate force and simple machines while they:

  • Recognize that a force is a push or a pull
  • Recall the six simple machines
  • Recognize that force is measured in newtons (N) and mass is measured in kilograms (kg)
  • Identify that a simple machine can change the direction or the amount of force required to do work
  • Gain skills and confidence in using scientific measurement tools, the force sensor, as well as the graphing capability of a computer to represent and analyze data
  • Design and conduct a scientific investigation

Method

Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Setting up equipment and work area to measure the force required to lift a mass with varying configurations of fixed and moveable pulleys
  • Designing and building structures to test how pulley systems change the direction or amount of applied force, or both
  • Assembling fixed and moveable pulley systems

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Force Sensor

(PS-2104)

Designed to measure both pulling and pushing forces. Uses range from collisions to tug-of-war.

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Middle School Physical Science Bundle

(PS-2914)

Equipment bundle for teaching 23 Middle School Physical Science Teacher Guide labs.

Option 2:

Middle School Science Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2933A)

This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 49 lab activities in the Middle School Science through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.