Last week we had Scientist Sophie come to visit our classroom from Scientists in the Schools. From her, we learned about simple machines (shovels, brooms, toy wagons, screwdrivers, egg beaters), which are objects that use muscle power and make work easier. Simple machines are different than complex machines (e.g., cars) that use parts and alternative energies like gas or fire.
Children experimented with a variety of simple machines, examining how they worked, comparing their effectiveness and sharing their observations. Some of these experiments involved rolling objects on inclined plains, where they tested how different materials moved along this surface.
Other students looked at wheels and axles, considering how they made work easier and which size axle was easiest to turn and worked faster.
Students explored wedges and learned how they made cutting, shoveling and zippering coats faster and more effective.
When working with a balance, students tested various weighted objects to see how they were affected by placing them in various spots on the balance at varying distances from the fulcrum.
Groups of students worked together to create large gear projects, that would spin together when turned. Gears were also explored at our water station, where egg beaters made foamy containers much faster than spoons.
Have your child see if they can find any simple machines at home and consider how they make work easier.