Education

Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Additional Johnstown Sites

Johnstown's Inclined Plane

Before your Visit

Vital Vocabulary!

If your students need definitions for words used in these online activities, look here!  Definitions are provided that specifically pertain to these activities.  Teachers may choose to teach a separate vocabulary lesson of their own design.  Alternatively, students may be given a vocabulary list to use as a reference tool.

Stretching the Limits Activity (approx. time: 1 hour)

Teachers!  Students will need to complete this activity before moving on to "Making a Mockery of Work."  In this activity, students will construct rubber band scales to be used in the "Mockery" activity.  Students will also have the opportunity to learn to use the scales.

Students can do this activity as individuals or as small groups.  Student lab instructions are available for distribution.

Each student or group of students will need the following materials:

         paper clip

         30 cm ruler

         scissors

         masking tape

         medium weight rubber band

         18 " piece of string

         group of objects(teacher selected)*

                  *NOTE: students may rotate these objects among the groups if needed

 

Required Teacher Preparation:

Construct a rubber band scale, using the directions given below.  Select a group of objects for the students to use in the experiment.  Using the rubber band scale the teacher has constructed, measure the effort used to lift the object straight up until it is free of the tabletop.  Record the effort needed for to lift each of the objects and list the objects from least effort needed to most effort needed.

Lab Procedures:

    Establish set:  (class discussion)

    Strategies/Tasks/Steps:  (student directives from lab instructions)

    Closure:  (class discussion)

Making a Mockery of Work (approx. time: 1 hour)

Teachers!  Students will need to complete the "Stretching the Limits" Activity before moving on to this activity.   Students will be using the rubber band scales constructed in the "Stretching" Activity.

Students can do this activity as individuals or as small groups.  Student lab instructions are available for distribution.

Objective: Inclined Planes make it easier to lift or lower weight by increasing the distance traveled.

Each student or group of students will need the following materials:

    Ziploc bag

    35 marbles (or other compact material weighing about 2 lbs.)

    string (30 cm long)

    5-6 books

    long smooth board or cookie sheet

    rubber band scale (assemble during previous class period if necessary)

 

Hypothesize: Have students make an educated guess on what the experiment will teach them.  Make sure they record their hypothesis.

Lab Procedures:

 Tidbits for Thought:

Teachers!  These "tidbits" can be used in many ways.  They could serve as a homework extension, addition lab questions, or as classroom discussion questions.

Conclusions: The rubber band stretched farther when lifting the load straight up than when the load was pulled up the ramp.  This shows that using an inclined plane reduces the amount of effort needed to lift a load.

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