Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Levers as Machines

Figure from experiment 2 from Exploring Motion and Force with Go Direct® Sensor Cart


A lever is a simple machine used to make work easier. It consists of a rigid bar with a support that allows the bar to pivot. The point where the bar pivots is the fulcrum. There are three classes of levers: first, second, and third. In this experiment, you will examine first-class levers. Crowbars and scissors are examples of first-class levers. A lever can help you move an object by increasing the force you exert. Mechanical advantage (MA) is a value that tells the number of times a machine increases an applied force. You will use the force sensor built into a Sensor Cart to measure resistance force and effort force. You will then use this information to calculate the mechanical advantage of each lever.


  • Measure force.
  • Calculate actual mechanical advantage (AMA).
  • Calculate ideal mechanical advantage (IMA).
  • Calculate percent difference.
  • Make conclusions about levers.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

Graphical Analysis 4

Exploring Motion and Force with Go Direct® Sensor Cart

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Investigating Friction
2Levers as Machines
3Pulleys as Machines
4Ramps as Machines
5Getting Faster
6Crash Test
7Newton's Second Law

Experiment 2 from Exploring Motion and Force with Go Direct® Sensor Cart Lab Book

Exploring Motion and Force with Go Direct<sup>®</sup> Sensor Cart book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

Dev Reference: VST0820

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