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Lesson Plan Title : Using a Ramp

Age Range:

Grade 3 through Grade 5 (Elementary School)

Overview and Purpose:

This experiment asks students to create a hypothesis using ramps and cars. It is easily adaptable to older grades by asking the students to find and record more information.

Objective:

The student will be able to compare two ramps to find out which one allows a vehicle to roll the farthest.

Resources:

2 different lengths of wood for each group of students (one labeled A and one B)

2 blocks of different heights (one labeled 1 and one 2)

1 matchbox car for each group of students

Teacher created worksheet

Tape measure for each group of students

Activities:

Pass out the materials and a worksheet to each group. Ask them to make a hypothesis about which combination of the blocks and wood will allow the car to travel the farthest. Then ask them to make the ramps using the four combinations (A1, A2, B1, and B2), roll the car down each one, and measure how far the car travels. They can record their measurements on the worksheet.

After they complete the experiment, the students can use classroom objects to make additional ramps and test them. Encourage them to be creative in their engineering. Have them record their experiments on the worksheet.

Conclude class by coming back together and discussing the results.

Closure:

This experiment can be extended to include building multiple ramps for an object to roll down during one experiment or drawing diagrams of the ramps.

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