The Lever Experiment
Experiment to determine the best spot to place the load on a class two lever.
Here is an easy and simple experiment you can do at home to learn more about the mechanical advantage of class two levers.
We know a wheelbarrow is a good example of a class two lever. Where is the best spot to place the wheelbarrow bucket to make lifting and moving of the load the easiest? Is it closer to the fulcrum or farther from the fulcrum? Let’s find out.
Here is what you need:
1. A foot ruler
2. Your pointer finger
3. A pile of books
4. A weight (like a block of magnet or rock)
Start by arranging the pile of books vertically. Put one end of the foot rule on the pile of books and support the other end with your pointer finger. Your lever is almost ready. The end tip on the pile of books will be the pivot (fulcrum). Your pointer finger will lift the load on the ruler, applying the effort.
Now, go ahead and place the load at three places on the foot ruler.
First, place the load on the ruler at the point closest to the effort. Try lifting the ruler and make a note of how heavy it feels.
Second, place the load in the middle section of the ruler (between the effort and the fulcrum). Try lifting it again and make a note of how heavy it feels.
Third, place the load on the ruler at a point closest to the fulcrum. Try lifting the ruler and make a note of how heavy it feels.
Which of the three load positions felt very easy to lift? Which of the three positions felt very heavy to lift? Discuss your answer with your teammates.