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Lesson Plan: Mechanical Advantage of Machines Physics • 9th Grade

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to calculate the mechanical advantage produced by machines that apply forces over distances, such as pulleys and gears.

Objectives

Students will be able to

  • recall that the mechanical advantage of a machine is the ratio of the force applied by the machine (the output force) to the force applied to the machine (the input force),
  • determine the mechanical advantage provided by a system of pulleys by considering the ratio of the number of sources of tension applying an output force to the number of sources of tension applying an input force,
  • determine the mechanical advantage provided by a system of gears by considering the ratio of the radii of gear wheels applying output forces and input forces.

Prerequisites

Students should already be familiar with

  • addition of force vectors,
  • the work done by a force.

Exclusions

Students will not cover

  • rotational motion,
  • inclined planes.

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