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Inclined plane

Investigate an inclined plane system. Change the mass/weight that is slid (K'Nex sled to hold mass/weight) or rolled (K'Nex or Hot Wheel® car) up an inclined plane. Other variables to explore: incline plane angle, length of incline, and height of the incline.

Focus Questions


The pictures in the album below show different possible set-ups.

One system uses a wood ramp and a Hot Wheel® car taped to a string that goes up the ramp around a pulley and connects to a mass on a weight hanger. Supports and hanger are constructed with K'Nex.

Washers/mass were put onto the mass/weight hanger until the car was pulled up the inclined plane.

Two or three data points were collected and then the inclined plane height was increased by adding another blue level.

This procedure can continued for three or four levels.

Data is recorded and graphed.

Washers can also be added to the roof of the car and more data collected, recorded, and graphed.

Sample graph & data



Picture album

Incline plane one level with Hot Wheel® car

Incline plane one level


Incline plane two level with car

Incline plane two level with car


Pulley system at top

Pulley at top of incline plane


Tower, pulley, weight hanger set up


Tower, pulley, weight hanger set up closer

Mass hanger 1

Mass hanger


Mass hanger 2

Mass hanger


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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