Education Technology

Physics: Mechanical Advantage

by Texas Instruments - Data Collection with Probes Lesson


  • Students will determine the mechanical advantages and efficiencies of simple machines.
  • Students will relate the factors that affect the mechanical advantage of an inclined plane and a lever.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the mechanical advantage of an inclined plane and a lever as they relate to the concepts of force, torque, and static equilibrium.


  • first-class lever
  • inclined plane
  • static equilibrium
  • force
  • mechanical advantage
  • torque

About the Lesson

This lesson has students explore the relationship between resistance force and effort force for inclined planes and levers.

  • Students first gather real-world data for the effort force required to hold a mass stationary on an inclined plane versus the height and length of the plane. Then students use simulation to explore the mechanical advantage of first-class levers.
  • Students predict and test formulas for the mechanical advantage of inclined planes and levers, and then apply their formulas in real-world applications.