Work and Simple Machines

  • Work and Simple Machines


         The work and simple machines unit begins with a discussion of work.  Students will learn how a scientist defines work, and how we can tell that work has been done (work has only been done if an object moves).  Students will also learn how to calculate the amount of work done on an object.  (Work = Force  X  Distance)

         The unit continues with an exploration of the six simple machines.  Students will get hands on experience using levers, pulleys, inclined planes, screws, wedges, and wheel and axles.  Students will learn that although using a machine does not change the amount of work being done, it certainly can make doing the work easier and faster. 

         Students will be introduced to compound machines, and will have the opportunity to build a compound machine of their own as an extra credit project for this unit.  As a totally optional project, which is designed to include parents and other family members, students will be challenged to build a Rube Goldberg device using a minimum of four simple machines, that will pop a balloon.

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