So the latest science expedition has involved understanding forces and how simple machines work. We used this hands on kit. Before breaking out the lab we read the book I Use Simple Machines. The book covers the six simple machines.
They six types of simple machines are:
3. ramp (inclined plane)
6. wheel and axel
The first simple machine we explored was the lever.When a small force is applied to the action point of the lever, the force applied impacts the load. The plug is pulled from the hole with the separator tool as pictured above. The separator tool is a lever. It was a simple experiment, but lead to lots of good discussion about action points, force, and loads. Also we tried to think of what other sorts of machines are levers like door handles and seesaws. Tomorrow we will discuss the lever again and discuss the mechanical advantages (making something easier) of the six types of simple machines. I found some great resources here.Next, we explored how a balance scale works. Those most fascinating part of the experiment involved moving the gear wheels closer to the point of rotation. Say you have two wheels are exactly the same weight. If you move one of the wheels closer to the point of rotation, it seems lighter. To see such a phenomenon in action was super cool.After the experiments were over, the kids practiced building the experiments themselves. Next time, we’ll continue the balance scale experiment by making paper weighing pans and attaching them to the apparatus. We’ll test the weights of different stuff like marbles, pom poms, and other small objects.
Also, I found a free printable book that the kids can make. We found this cool online game at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago.
And I made these simple machine cards using clipart from the internet. I cut and pasted the pictures into one document, and then I cut the pictures out and glued them onto cardstock. ABC Teach has simple machine photo cards available here. If I were still a member, I would have printed these cards for sorting. Printing the black and white images did save me some color ink! Notice I have a fishing pole as a pulley. The reeling action of the fishing pole would be a pulley. The action of lifting the fish out of water would be the lever.I marked each card with a colored symbol for control of error.