"Simple Machines By Design"
Simple Machines By Design Bruce Larson, M.Ed.,M.S. Enrichment Coordinator Stratham Memorial School Stratham, New Hampshire Practice Challenge ‘B’ … Using a 5”X7” (12.5X17.5cm) piece of cardstock, scissors, and about 125mm of tape, build as many different simple machine models as you can. 3D models are a bigger challenge! Time limit: 10 minutes Note: Feel free to use a pen/pencil to draw your plans on your card, as you will only get one! The simple machine „family tree‟: Inclined Plane Lever ramp wedge screw Type 1,2,3 wheel/axle gears ‘see-saw’ ‘wheelbarrow’ ‘crane’ pulley systems Innovation is the key to competitiveness in the world marketplace, and design is fundamental to innovation. In recent international tests of science (PISA2006), US students performed poorly in the areas which required scientific thinking skills. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” Thomas Edison What do K-5 students need to know about simple machines? * Machines help people do work by shortening the time or decreasing the effort necessary to do a task. * Machines are often used to transform one kind of energy into another more useful form. * Inventing and designing machines is a process which begins with a problem where the solution relies on creativity and experimentation. * Designing machines and comparing designs involves measurement tools to find the best machine for the task. * Inventions using simple machines have changed the course of human history. Here is a simple rubric for what is involved: problem/design/invent/test/redesign/retest Does this sound like „scientific method‟? A little data collection, statistical analysis, and controls gives you what happens in most engineering projects… Challenge One: Using the LEGOs in your kit, design a class one lever which will raise a black ‘load’ block and a ‘passenger’ as high as you can. The load must start as close to the table as you can get it. The force applied must be on the opposite side of the fulcrum from the ‘load’ at all times. All measurements should be from the bottom edge of the load. Challenge Two: Using the LEGOs in your kit, build a ‘car’ which will carry your load as far as possible down a ramp and onto the floor. Your load and passenger must not fall off! Cars must stay in the ‘runway’ area in order to be measured. Cars must have three or more wheels. You cannot push the car to start it! Cars must stay in the marked travel lane. Trial distance will be how far the car traveled in the lane. If parts fall off the car on a run, the run will not be measured. Challenge Three: Using the LEGOs in your kit, build a device to raise the heaviest load possible 50 cm from the floor using a wheel and axle. The pulley device must be stable on the table without adding a force (you are not allowed to hold the base). The load must be held at 50 cm for at least three seconds. Total height will be measured from the bottom of the load. A wheel/axle must be between the force and the load. Adding a home dimension: Simple Machine Invention Project Simple and Complex Machine Research Projects First LEGO league competition Camp Invention **Don’t do everything for your students - its OK to have something fail if you have the tools to try again!**