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.

Work and Mechanical Advantage

Lab Summary

Use a force sensor to measure the force required to lift a mass with varying configurations of fixed and moveable pulleys, in combination with an inclined plane (a ramp).

Theory

In this activity, students further investigate the way simple machines make work easier by combining two simple machines to make a compound machine.

Students will investigate force and simple machines while they:

  • Recognize that a force is a push or a pull
  • Recall that simple machines change the amount of input force, the direction in which the force is applied, or both
  • Recognize that a compound machine is made of two or more simple machines
  • Reinforce their understanding of the different arrangements of pulleys
  • Recognize that force is measured in newtons (N), mass is measured in kilograms (kg), and length is measured in meters (m)
  • Recognize that moving a force through a distance is known as work
  • Compute mechanical advantage
  • 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, in combination with an inclined plane (a ramp)
  • Designing and building structures to test how pulley systems change the direction of applied force, the amount of applied force, or both
  • Assembling fixed and moveable pulley systems and trying these combinations as they apply a force to pull a cart up an inclined plane

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.