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GUIDED DISCOVERY LESSON
"Incline Planes"

Unit:

Force and Motion

Background: Students explore the mechanical advantage of a ramp by measuring the change in force required to pull a mass  to the top of a ramp.

Learning Objectives:
Students will construct a ramp using LEGO elements.
Students will collect data to compare the mechanical advantage to effort.
Students will make generalizations that they can apply to determine the mechanical advantages.

Learning Standards:
State Goal 12: Understand the  fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.
D.  Know and apply concepts that describe force and motion and the principles that explain them.

Materials:
LEGO elements (per group)
*  1    base plate
*  2    1 x 16 beams
*  2    1 x 12 beams
*  2    1 x 8 beams
*  2    1 x 6 beams
*  2    1 x 4 beams
*  1    2 x 4 brick
*  1    2 x 4 plate
*  2    connector pegs
*  1    bushing
*  1    weighted brick

Investigation Tools

Spring scale (250 grams or 2.5 newtons)
String
Ramp  (ruler, paint stick, etc.)
Tag board
Tape

Learning Activities:

Motivation
To promote inquiry as to why things work the way they do and with the help of simple machines like the
incline plane.

Data Collection
The students will construct a ramp and make predictions and inferences by adjusting the angle of the
and using a spring scale to measure the force.

The standard axle position for the ramp will be set for data comparison.

The students will be encouraged to work in pairs for the entire activity recording information on their separate activity pages.

Data Processing
After the students have completed their three different trials for each ramp position have them record their data each
time to determine the most and least effort of the ramps, the amount of force used and the amount of force needed to lift
an object up the ramp.

The students will test their predictions, graph the effort of force for each position and will be allotted time to calculate the