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# Simple Machines by JXA949

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Schultz Elementary

Feb 28, 2005

Physical Science, Benchmark C, Indicator 2:
Describe an objects position by locating it relative to another object or the
background.

Physical Science, Benchmark C, Indicator 4:
Predict the changes when an object experiences a force (e.g., push or pull,
weight and friction)

Science and Technology, Benchmark A, Indicator 1:
Describe how technology can extend human abilities (e.g., to move things and to
extend senses)

Standard 1. Benchmark B, Indicator 3: Describe how tools and machines extend
human capabilities such as holding, lifting, carrying, fastening, separating, and
computing.

Overview
Using K’nex to study simple machines allows the students to use a reliable,
familiar building material. I have the students either either construct their own
examples of a simple machine or construct a simple machine based off of a
picture. I have done this lesson different ways, depending on the amount of time I
have for the lesson. One way is to put the picture and the unassembled machine
in a plastic baggie and have the students construct the machine from the picture.
If there is limited time, I will have the machines already set up.

For closure, bring in (or have students bring in) pictures or actual examples of the
various machines. Have students identify the simple machines in each example
and tell whether the device:
1) Reduces the amount of force needed (and is a force multiplier),
2) Reduces the distance the force has to move (and is a speed multiplier), or
3) Changes the direction of a force.

Students are always amazed that sports equipment that involve levers (i.e.,
baseball bats, tennis racquets, golf clubs) are actually speed multipliers as the
machine multiplies the distance the load travels with just a small movement of
the force end of the lever.
Simple Machines Investigation

Materials
K'nex Simple Machines kit
Rulers
Weights
Worksheets

Procedure:

1. Identify the simple machines at the tables.

2. Discuss: What do simple machines do?

3. Lead students through the worksheet

Note: You will need to help students understand where to attach the load to their
machines and how to attach the rubber band scale to measure the force needed

4. After students finish their worksheets, have each group present their
machine, demonstrate how it works, and identify if their machine lets them
move the load with less force, move the load farther, or changes the direction
of the force.

5. Review the principles of simple machines.

A. The weight a machine moves is called the load.

B. The amount of effort needed to operate the machine is called the force.

C.   Simple machines can do one of three things:
    Let you use less force to move a load
    Let you change the direction of a force on a load
    Let you move the load farther or quicker

D. Simple machines save people time or energy.
My Simple Machine Drawing

1. Draw a picture of your simple machine.

2. My simple machine is a __________________________
3. Attach the weight to your machine.

4. Attach the rubber band scale to your machine where you would pull or push
on the machine.

5. Weigh the load with the scale. It weighs _____________ units.

8. Attach the rubber band scale to the machine where the effort will go.

9. Move the load by pulling on the machine with the scale.

10. The amount of force needed to move the load is ___________ units.

11. Label your drawing where the force would be on your machine, and write the
amount of the force on your drawing.

12. Use arrows to show the direction of the force and of the load.

13. Was the amount of force you needed to move the load more than, less than,
or the same as the weight of the load? ___________

14. Measure the distance you moved the load: ___________ inches

15. Measure the distance you moved the scale: ___________ inches

16. Circle the right answer below. My machine:

Lets me use less force         Moves the load a longer distance

Changes direction of the force

17. Why did you answer Question #16 that way?

18. An example of a device that uses my simple machine is a(n):

____________________________________
Date: __________________________________

Dear Parents

Today your child investigated simple machines. They worked with K’nex models
of levers, wheel and axle, fixed pulley, movable pulley, inclined plane, and gears.

They learned about loads and forces. They explored the idea that simple
machines can save us time or energy, and that a simple machine lets us use less
force, move a load a greater distance, or change the direction of a load.

They also identified a real-life machine that would use their simple machine.

If your child wants to do more with simple machines, here are some problems
they could try to solve using K’nex or other objects around the house.

Simple Machine Challenges

   Design a lever that will raise the load 3 inches off the floor
   Design an inclined plane that will lower the load 3 inches
   Design a wheel and axle system that will transport the load 6 inches
forward
   Design a fixed pulley system that will raise the load 6 inches
   Design a movable pulley that will lower the load 6 inches

Here are some web sites on simple machines for elementary aged children.

Moving along with simple machines
http://www.henry.k12.ga.us/cur/simp-mach/instruction.htm

Inventor’ toolbox: the elements of machines (includes quiz at bottom)
http://www.mos.org/sln/Leonardo/InventorsToolbox.html

Simple machines (click on links at bottom of page)
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-
12/Summer_Training/KaeAvenueES/SIMPLE_MACHINES.html#Anchor

Simple machines learning site
http://www.coe.uh.edu/archive/science/science_lessons/scienceles1/finalhome.ht
m

Work is simple with simple machines (scroll to bottom and click on hot words)
http://www.ed.uri.edu/SMART96/ELEMSC/SMARTmachines/machine.html#OVE
RVIEW

Scroll down on this link for some good books on machines and other topics
http://www.theteacherscorner.net/thematicunits/simplemachines.htm

Enjoy!

Simple Machines
Evaluation

Teacher and Student: Rate the following according to the following scale:

1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good, 4 = excellent, 5 = outstanding

Student           Teacher
1. My drawing of my simple machine
was neatly drawn                                                     _____             _____

2. The labels and arrows of my drawing                                  _____             _____
were correctly placed

3. I know how to use and read                                           _____             _____
the rubber band scale

4. My measurements with the rubber band scale
were accurate                                                        _____             _____

5. My measurement of the distances the load and
force moved was accurate.                                            _____             _____

6. I named an example of how my simple machine
is used in real life                                                _____             _____

7. I was a good problem solver                                          _____             _____

8. I stayed on task during the investigation                            _____             _____

9. I did my share of the work                                           _____             _____

10. I worked well with my team                                          _____             _____
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Total:                                                            _____             _____
Evaluation (p. 2)

1. The part of this project I liked was:

2. The part of the project I was unhappy with was:

3. I learned these three things about simple machines from doing this
project :

a)

b)

c)

Fixed Pulley

Gears
Inclined Plane

Moveable Pulley
Wheel and Axle

Rubber Band

Counting Markers

Scale for measuring weight and force

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