Simple & Powered Machines Set

Inclined Plane

The inclined plane is a slanted surface used to raise objects.

0-30 min.
Grades 6-8


5-10 Minutes

An inclined plane is a slanted surface used to raise objects, e.g. a ramp.

Did you know?
The advantage of using an inclined plane has been known and used for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used inclined planes made of earth to ease the transport of their giant stone blocks to the top of the pyramids.


Using an inclined plane to raise an object to a given height, the object must be moved a longer distance, but with less effort needed than if the object was to be raise straight up.
It is a trade-off either to use a lot of effort to raise a given load a short distance straight upwards or to apply much less force to raise it gradually over the longer distance of an inclined plane.
That means the same amount of work is done.

Common examples of inclined planes are ramps, ladders, and stairs.


5-10 Minutes

Build the following models. Use the Contemplate ideas below and on the Student Worksheet to learn about each model, one at a time.
Build D1 book I, pages 2 to 3
Build D2 book II, page 13 to 15



10-15 minutes

This model shows a short inclined plane. Nothing happens when the load is released. The effort is not enough to raise the load to the top of the inclined plane. If another wheel is added, the effort is able to raise the load.


This model shows a long inclined plane. Because of the added distance to this inclined plane, that reduced angle of the ramp, the effort is able to raise the load to the top of the inclined plane.



Try other lessons!
Now that you have mastered the principles of inclined plane try some of the other lever lessons like Power Car.

Teacher Support

Students will learn about:
Using inclined plane to raise objects
Raising objects means moving an objects a longer distance but with less effort

9686 Simple & Powered Machines Set (two students per set recommended)

Student Material

Student Worksheet

Download to view and share the student worksheet.

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