Simple Machines activities


 

Created by: lbreazeale@sumterschools.org

Grade Level: 6-7,8-9

Activity Category: Simple & Compound Machines

Resource Category: Hands-On Activities/Labs

Activity Description: Students will demonstrate that it takes less effort to use a simple machine than when not using one.

Time required to do activity:
46-60 minutes

Time required to set up:
15-30 minutes

Time required to clean up:
Less than 15 minutes

Space needs:
Students will go through the school and use simple machines. They will need desk tops to write, access to the school auditorium, the school flag pole, a bus ramp, room to roll a janitor’s mop bucket and a rolling cart. You can set up the other activities on a table or two or three desks as stations.

Cost per class of 25 students:
none if items obtained from home or school

Items needed and where to get them:
Students will view simple machines in the school. They will perform tasks using the machine and not using the machine. Optional: take pictures of students performing tasks.
Auditorium: curtains with pulley system
Flag pole: pulley
Janitors mop bucket: with wheel and axle, lever (ask janitorial staff to borrow one)
Lockers or classroom door: levers (in hallway)
Bus ramp: inclined plane
broom: lever (bring from home or ask janitorial staff)
stapler: lever, wedge (classroom or office)
scissors: wedge (classroom or office)
Screws in wall or doors: screws (find in any item in school)
plastic bottle: screw top lid (bring one from home)
food can and manual can opener: lever, gears, wheel and axle (bring from home)
soda can with pop-top lid: lever (bring from home or purchase from soda machine)
rolling cart and stack of heavy books: wheel and axle (media center)

Activity Instructions:
Students will perform a task using a simple machine and not using a simple machine. In each case, they will state if it is easier to do the job or task by using the simple machine or not. Does not have to be done in this order, nor do you need to do all the activities.
1) With the stage curtains, have the students pull the curtains open or closed with their hands. Then let them use the pulley system on the curtains. Ask which one was easier to do. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
2)At the flag pole, have the students raise or lower the flag with the pulley. Then let them use the pulley system on the curtains. Ask which one was easier to do. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
3) Allow students to push the mop bucket. Ask them if it is easier to do with wheels or by picking it up and carrying it by the handle. Ask which one was easier to do. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
4) Allow the students to use the lever that wrings the mop out. Ask them if it is easier to use the lever or to wring out the mop by hand. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
5) Lockers: Allow students to pull locker open with handle, using the door (which is a lever). Ask them if it is easier to open the locker with a door, or to pry it open. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
6) On the bus ramp (or other ramp in your school), let the students roll a wheel chair or other type of rolling chair. Ask them if it is easier to roll the wheel chair or to pick it up and place it on the curb with the person in it. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
7) Broom: let the students sweep a pile of wadded up paper. Then ask them to pick it up by hand (using gloves if necessary) Ask them if it easier to sweep (broom handle is a lever) or to pick it up piece by piece by hand. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
8) Stapler: Let the students use the stapler (with guidance). Ask them if it is easier to use the stapler or to hit the staples into the paper by hand. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
9) Scissors: Allow the students to cut a pile of paper. Then allow them to rip the paper in half with their hands. Ask them which one was easier. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
10) Screws: Let students observe the screws in the door, wall, etc. Ask them if it easier to use the screw or for someone to stand there and hold the item together. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
11) Plastic screw-top bottle: Allow students to unscrew the bottle. Then replace the lid and ask the student to open the bottle without using unscrewing the lid. Ask them which one would be easier. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
12) Can and can opener: Give the students a can of food. Ask them to open it with their hands. Then give them a manual can opener and demonstrate or let them use the can opener. Ask them which one was easier. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
13) Soda can with pop-top: Ask the student to open the can without using the pop-top. Then ask them to use the pop-top. Ask which one was easier. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.
14) Rolling cart and stack of heavy books: Let the students pick up and carry a stack of heavy books. Then let them place it on a rolling cart and push the cart. Ask them which one was easier. Record their answer or let them record on their paper.

Standards Type: Local Standards

Standards Explained:
GA Performance Standards: 8th grade
Students will investigate relationship between force, mass, and the motion of objects. Demonstrate the effect of simple machines (lever, inclined plane, pulley, wedge, screw, and wheel and axle) on work.

Class Management and Safety Issues:
This activity should be done with a small group (4-8 students). If needed, allow co-teacher or paraprofessional remain in the classroom and complete several activities while small group goes on tour of the building. Care should be exercised when using stapler, scissors, and manual can opener. Allow adults to use those objects if safety is a concern.

Tags: Special education, simple machines, simple machine activity, 8th grade

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Last 5 posts by lbreazeale@sumterschools.org

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Clearly written and easily understood
Meets standards listed
Takes the time estimated
Cost the amount estimated
Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)