People Power
To calculate power generated by humans.
Equipment: stopwatch, stairs

Important: If you have a medical condition that prevents you from climbing stairs, notify your instructor prior to performing the lab.

1.  Record your mass in kilograms.
2.  The vertical height of the stairs from the basement to the second floor landing is 7.0 meters.
3.  Climb the stairs safely with a stopwatch, recording your ascent time to the nearest 0.1 second.

1.  Calculate your weight.
2.  Determine the work you did against gravity (i.e., vertically) during the climb.
3.  Calculate your power in watts, then convert to horsepower (1 hp = 746 watts).
4.  Using your calculated power, determine the vertical component of your velocity up the stairs. (P=Fv)
5.  How long would a 60 watt bulb have to burn to produce the energy you used climbing the stairs?
6.  Assuming 100% of your energy can be converted to electrical power, and electricity costs $0.10 for one kilowatt-hour, how high should you climb to make one penny's worth of electricity?  Show all work & units.
7.  If one food Calorie (equals 1000 chemistry calories) equals 4184 J, how far up could you go on one cream-filled Oreo cookie containing 50 Calories?

Back to the Brockport High School Science Department