Inclined Planes





Name of Activity

Inclined Planes




inclined planes, ramps, lego, simple machines, found materials


Simple Machines, LEGO Building

Grade Level

4, 5


1 Hour Total

Brief Description

Students will practice building inclined planes of all sorts (tubes, ramps, tilts) in order to have a ball object roll across the table/space.

Lesson Objectives:

Use engineering design process to work and collaborate in groups efficiently.

Introduce students to building inclined planes and inspire creativity for the future rube goldberg final project.

Materials Needed:

found materials, legos, any classroom materials that seem helpful, tape, poster board, cardboard.

Preparation and Set Up:

Spend about five-ten minutes gathering groups and encouraging brainstorming before building. Provide each group an NXT kit for lego parts, tape, and poster board/cardboard.

Necessary Background

Inclined planes, slopes, speed, force


  1. Review inclined planes.
  2. Identify the goal: to allow ball to travel at least 2-3 inclined planes across a table or space.
  3. Divide into groups and allow students to develop possible solutions.
  4. Before giving materials allow each group to decide the best possible solution for their group given certain materials.
  5. Allow students to construct/build.
  6. Allow 5 minutes for Testing for each group before redesigning.
  7. Encourage communication within groups.


Tell students to use more than 2-3 inclined planes.

Have students incorporate a previous activity (an other simple machine) into their works.

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Simple Machines

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