Spotting Simple Machines
Discover that simple machines are used every day in the world around us.
Big Idea: Simple machines make our everyday life easier
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Gather your materials for a simple machine hunt. See which simple machines you can find around you.
1. With the clipboard set up for observational drawings, search your space for simple machines. Choose one first to look for – for example, the wheel and axle. Children can find one on a bike, a toy car, a real car, or find one of their own, and make observational drawings of the ones they can find.
2. Repeat this activity with other simple machines.
Q. What is a wheel?
Q. What is it used for?
Q. How do they help us?
Q. What are you noticing?
Q. What is the difference between the same simple machine, but used on different objects? (for example, a gear used on a bike versus a gear used inside a toy)
Q. Can you find any objects that use two or more different simple machines?
11.A.ECc Plan and carry out simple investigations.
Children will find simple machines and investigate their uses on different objects.
11.A.ECd Collect, describe, compare and record information from observations and investigations.
Children will record what they notice about simple machines on their clipboards, and make inferences and observations given that information.
12.C.ECa Identify, describe, and compare the physical properties of objects.
Children will compare the same simple machine used in different tools, toys, or objects.
Simple Machine: a simple device for altering the magnitude or direction of a force. The six basic types are the lever, wheel and axle, pulley, screw, wedge, and inclined plane
Pulley: a wheel with a grooved rim in which a pulled rope or chain can run to change the direction of the pull and thereby lift a load
Incline Plane: a flat surface whose endpoints are at different heights
Wheel and axle: device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center
Wedge: a triangular shaped tool that is used to separate two objects or portions of an object, lift an object, or hold an object in place