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.
- How much mass/weight is needed to slide an empty sled or car up the inclined plane?
- What happens if mass/weight is added to the sled or car?
- What happens if the height of the inclined plane is increased while the distance the sled or car moves and the mass stays the same?
- How does the amount of mass/weight needed to slide an object up the inclined plane change if the height of the inclined plane stays the same, the mass/weight of the object that is slide stays the same, but the length of the inclined plane changes?
- What happens if the surface of the inclined plane is changed by wrapping it with different materials?
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
Incline plane one level with Hot Wheel® car
Incline plane two level with car
Pulley system at top
Tower, pulley, weight hanger set up
Tower, pulley, weight hanger set up closer
Mass hanger 1
Mass hanger 2