Build them like engineers. Test them like scientists. Understand them like scholars.
Even in our 21st Century technological world we still need designers, engineers, and craftspersons with a solid understanding of the basics to provide the tools to get the job done. How would you feel, afterall, if your calculus teacher didn’t know the times tables?
If you teach engineering, thrive in an active, hands-on environment, or guide gifted learners, Simple Machines and More is right for you. Here we go well beyond the basics: depth, challenge, problem-solving in a hands-on application of physical science and mathematics for upper elementary and middle school.
In Simple Machines and More, our young engineers build two simple machines (inclined plane, wheel and axle) and a more complex combination of machines (the winch). Our construction and engineering focus is on precision and applied skills. As physicists, we’ll test our creations. How can we prove simple machines help us do work?
In this lesson you get instructions and dozens of pictures to guide you through the process, handy links to excellent websites which will take your study deeper and student activity sheets for math applications, scientific studies, and critical thinking questions—34 pages in all.
Suggested materials and tools: cardboard, packing tape, T-square (optional), small craft saw (preferred but not absolutely necessary), wooden wheels fitted snugly to a round dowel, wooden spools, square dowels, plastic bag, ruler, rubber band, hot glue, scissors, and craft sticks. Total cost of materials: about $1.00 per student.