Angling for Access
Problem: How does the incline (angle) of a a ramp affect the force it takes to
move an object up a ramp?
Independent Variable: the incline (angle) of a a ramp
Dependent Variable: the force it takes to move an object up a ramp
Hypothesis: If the incline (angle) of a a ramp is (steep or less steep)
then it will take (more force or less force) to move an object up a ramp.
Length of Incline
• spring scale
• meter stick and ruler
Find the output force (weight of the roller). Use Newtons.
Set the ramp to the correct angle of inclination.
Measure the height of the incline and the length of the incline.
Attach the roller to the spring scale. Pull the roller up the inclined plane using the
spring scale. The spring scale must be parallel to the inclined plane.
Measure the force it takes for the roller to be pulled up to the point the inclined
plane crosses the protractor.
pull the roller
Length of Incline
Height of Incline
42 ÷ 10.5 =
2.1 ÷ .5 =
Analyze and Conclude:
What is the difference between ideal mechanical advantage and actual
mechanical advantage? Should have been completed in class!
What happens to the ideal mechanical advantage as the incline becomes
How did the ideal mechanical advantage and actual mechanical
advantage compare each time you repeated the experiment?
If Work = Force x Distance and the height of the incline is 10 cm, does
the angle of incline of the ramp affect the amount of work needed to move
the roller up the ramp?
39 cm .5 N
The unit for WORK is JOULES (J).
24 cm .9 N
(needed to pull the
roller up ramp)
16 cm 1.4 N
Work = .5N × 39 cm
Explain your answer in complete sentences. _______________________
Think about a wheelchair ramp. If we were building a wheelchair ramp at
our school, which of these three ramps would you recommend building
Using the results of the lab, Angling for Access, apply what you
have learned to the following question.
Why are wheelchair ramps a longer distance than the stairs?
Are architects just being thoughtless when they design long,
winding wheelchair ramps? Explain your answer in a paragraph
using complete thoughts and sentences.