This week marks the start of our Simple Machines unit. When we think of machines, quite often we think of some elaborate object with button or knobs that is powered by electricity in some way, either by battery or by a plug in the wall. However, simple machines are the simplest part of a machine, often made of one or very few moving parts. These simple machines make work easier for us by distributing the mass over a gradual slope, lifting items, splitting materials, applying force, or even changing the direction of the force and giving us a mechanical advantage. There are six simple machines: inclined plane, screw, wedge, pulley, wheel and axle, and lever.
As part of getting acquainted with the six simple machines this week, we will be scouring our school looking for and identifying each of the simple machines and talking about how they make tasks easier for us. Students are having to find at least two example of each of the simple machines around our school. (Kindergarten students love going by the flag pole and pointing out the pulley. :) Parents can challenge their students at home to locate examples of the six simple machines at home.