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Science & Nature with Mr. Rich | 04

Simple Machines

Simple machines, such as levers, wheels, and ramps, provide a way for us to gain a mechanical advantage and do great things with our strength. This week let’s do great things and learn a little about simple machines. They are all around us. Can you find an example of each in your home?

Wheel Hint- Wheels can also be pulleys, rollers, or gears. They are used in lots of things for movement and can be small or large.

Lever Hint- Levers are used when we need a lot of force to do a job. Tools for repair and kitchen tools often need a lot of force to do their jobs.

Incline Plane (ramp) Hint- Ramps are good choices for sliding or rolling something higher. Transitions in height could be small, like entering a home, or big like going from street level to a home.

Did you find any? For a bit more about ramps and pulleys, watch the video below and see how two people solve a problem.

Now I wonder if you could make a lever at home? A lever has two parts. It is a beam that is anchored to ground by a fulcrum. If you have ever played on a playground “Seesaw”, you have used a lever. Your parents will be helpful in finding a good beam and fulcrum. A broomstick works well as a beam and a stick, a rock, almost anything sturdy can be a fulcrum. Or make a mini lever with pencils.

If you have made a lever try using it to lever something up. Place it under a pile of books and see how hard it is to lift them. Try moving the fulcrum and see how the difficulty changes. Lastly remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Use your new mechanical advantages cautiously and ask your parents before trying new projects.

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