Education Technology

Balancing Torques and Forces

Updated on 03/28/2014

Activity Overview

In this activity, students explore the conditions necessary to produce static equilibrium using first-, second-, and third-class levers.

Objectives

  • Students will predict and describe the effect of balanced forces on an object.
  • Students will measure or calculate the net force on an object.
  • Students will describe the relationship between torque, force, and lever arm.

Vocabulary

  • effort arm
  • first-class lever
  • fulcrum
  • resistance arm
  • second-class lever
  • static equilibrium
  • third-class lever
  • torque

About the Lesson

In this activity, students explore the conditions necessary to produce static equilibrium using first-, second-, and third-class levers.
As a result, students will:

  • Change the length of the effort arm for each lever and measure the force necessary to achieve static equilibrium.
  • Use these data to determine the relationships between torque, force, and effort arm for the different levers.