This is a "low budget" simple machines lab that focuses on the Inclined Plane. Students will compare the advantage and efficiency of a shallow plane against a steeper plane. I use this lab with my freshman general science classes and junior conceptual physics classes after working through the Simple Machines notes and practice problems. It can take students anywhere from half an hour to a full "block" (in my school, 80 minutes). It is intended for students who are in pre-algebra or algebra 1.
Teachers will need to gather: spring scales, boards for ramps, meter sticks or rulers, and blocks or cars that can be dragged by the spring scales.