Levers help make work easier. The lever makes it easier to move objects because it take less force to move it. A lever is a bar resting on a certain point. The fulcrum make the lever work. It is the point where the bar turns. The closer the fulcrum is to the load the less force you have to use. There are three types of levers. There are first class levers, second class levers, and third class levers.

A first class lever is when the fulcrum is between the load and the effort. The brake handle of a boxcar is a first class lever.

firstclass first-class lever

A second class lever is when the fulcrum is at one end and the load is between the fulcrum and the effort. An example of a second class lever is when you pick up a box car at one end with the other end on its wheel.

secondclass second-class lever

A third class lever is when the effort is between the load and the fulcrum and the fulcrum is at one end. An example of a third class lever is the front axle of a box car.

thirdclass third-class lever

Pitchers use their arms as third-class levers. At this point of the pitch, his forearm pivots at the elbow,which is the fulcrum. The muscles of his forearm supply the force, and the ball provides the resistance. The lever action of a pitch magnifies the speed a pitcher can give to the ball.

lever close up
These are examples of levers that we saw at the Box Car track. The lever on the left (blue one) was an example of a first class lever and was easier to lift than the one on the right (the red one) which is an example of a second class lever.

by Craisten, Kahale, Jonah and Nathan

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Box Car Physics | Kapunahala