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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) addressed in this packet:
Grade 3 Forces and Interactions
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
This packet covers 6 simple machines (inclined plane, wheel and axle, wedge, pulley, screw, and lever) and it has 3 fun hands-on activities that illustrates how 3 of the machines work (inclined plane, lever, wheel and axle). My students loved the activities and I know yours will too!
Start off by introducing your students to the concept of simple machines using the first 7 slides of the packet. I project these onto my whiteboard to facilitate class discussion. Each shows a photo of a simple machine along with a definition. After reviewing all 6, use the next 6 slides as a guessing game- where is the simple machine in the photo? How does it work? There are 2 student worksheets that go along with the slides.
Activity 1 – Lever Launchers- Let your students see first hand how a lever works with this fun game! Materials: paper towel tube, ruler, cotton balls. Students will experiment with setting up a fulcrum and lever to see which set up will launch a cotton ball the farthest. 2 student worksheets, point cards for game set up (see photo), and game rules sheet included. This activity can be used to address 2 of the 3rd grade NGSS force & interaction standards, 2 worksheets on balanced and unbalanced forces included.
Activity 2- Inclined Ramp activity – Your students will experiment with the angle of a ramp to see which set up will provide a marble with enough momentum to push a small rock. Materials: small rock, paper towel tubes, large marble or rock, rulers. Measure how far the rock is pushed, student worksheet included.
Activity 3 – Pinless Pinwheels! See how a wheel and axle works by creating these pinwheels! No pins required – materials: paper, staples, hole punch, straws. Pattern for pinwheel and student worksheet included.
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Please note: these units are for the use of one educator.
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Sue from Science for Kids :)