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Exploring The Power Of Pulleys Through Science Lab

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PCA eighth graders recently engaged in an exciting pulley system lab as part of their "Work and Machines" unit. This unit focuses on understanding simple machines and how they can enhance our ability to perform work. Middle School Science Teacher Kim Moser explains, “The specific objective for this lab was to calculate the absolute and ideal mechanical advantages of different pulley systems. I wanted them to discover that as the number of pulleys in a system increased, the mechanical advantage would also increase, leading to a decrease in the effort force required.”

To achieve this, students were tasked with building three distinct pulley systems. The first system consisted of a single pulley, the second had two pulleys, and the third boasted four pulleys. By using spring scales and 1 kg weights, they were able to test and calculate the effort forces and mechanical advantages of each system. Not only was this lab a fun and engaging experience for the students, but it also allowed them to make remarkable discoveries about the power and principles of simple machines. 

Posted by Darla Rourk with