Simple Machine – The Screw


Created by: kpompilio

Grade Level: 4-5

Activity Category: Simple & Compound Machines

Resource Category: Hands-On Activities/Labs

Activity Description: In this activity, students learn that a screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder or post. The students cut an “inclined plane” out of construction paper. They highlight the top of the inclined plane with a marker and wrap an unsharpened pencil with the paper. They will see that the line wraps around the pencil like the threads of a screw wrap around the screw’s post.

Time required to do activity:
Less than 15 minutes

Time required to set up:
Less than 15 minutes

Time required to clean up:
Less than 15 minutes

Space needs:
Students can do this activity at their desks or as a station or center.

Cost per class of 25 students:

Items needed and where to get them:
25 pieces of white construction paper or copy paper
25 unsharpened pencils


Activity Instructions:
1) Have the students measure and cut out a right triangle with a base of 4 inches and a height of six inches.

2) Color the diagonal edge of the triangle with a colored marker.

3) Tape the side of the paper to the side of the pencil with the colored edge facing up.

4) Wrap the paper around the pencil tightly. You should see the colored bands spiraling around the pencil.

Standards Type: National Standards

Standards Explained:
Energy flow in physical and chemical systems, including simple machines

Class Management and Safety Issues:

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Tags: screw, machines, simple

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Clearly written and easily understood
Meets standards listed
Takes the time estimated
Cost the amount estimated
Rating: 4.6/5 (2 votes cast)