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Updated: May 1

Levers are used all over the place in our everyday life. But have you ever wondered just exactly how they work? Grab your favorite budding scientist and tackle this fun project — and before you know it, you’ll both be lever experts! According to where the load and effort are located with respect to the fulcrum, there are three types or classes of lever: First Class Lever, Second Class Lever & Third Class Lever


This is a type of lever which has the fulcrum in between the weight and the force applied, sometimes called a Class One Lever. Its order is

represented as force-fulcrum-weight. This is the most basic type of lever. A lever could be something as simple as a wooden board with a ridge that freely rotates or moves on a pivot. The most common and popular lever can be found in many playgrounds: a see-saw or teeter-totter. They are found everywhere and it is one of the most useful simple machines.

All classes of levers have four basic p arts:

BEAM- The lever, a wooden plank or metal bar resting on the fulcrum.

FULCRUM- the pivot or the turning point.

FORCE- the effort or input needed to move the beam and load.

LOAD- the item or object being move ed or lifted on the plank.


A lever works by reducing the amount of force needed to move an object or lift a load. A lever does this by increasing the distance through which the force acts. In this experiment, you will show that the closer the fulcrum — or the pivot point of the lever — is moved toward the load, the less effort is required to lift the load. At the same time, the distance over which you must apply the force increases. You will see that levers neither increase nor decrease the amount of total effort necessary. Instead, they make the work easier by spreading out the effort over a longer distance. The Class of Lever is determined by the location of the load, fulcrum, and force. In a Class One Lever, the Fulcrum is located between the Load and the Force. The closer the Load is to the Fulcrum, the easier it is to lift (increased mechanical advantage). Examples include see-saws, crow bars, hammer claws, scissors, pliers, and boat oars.


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