January 17, 2006
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PulleyFind and identify simple machines at the interactive House and Tool Shed!

Learn how forces and simple machines can work together to create The Odd Machine!  

Lifting a Camel with a LeverWhat was the first simple machine? Find out the history of simple machines at... What is a Simple Machine?
Are you an inventor? Then you probably use simple machines as did these inventors.
Cave Man invents the Wheel

Inventor's Toolbox

These devices were all in common use for centuries before Leonardo da Vinci's time. Each one makes work easier to do by providing some trade-off between the force applied and the distance over which the force is applied.    

Question MarksChallenge yourself with the Simple Machine Quiz

Using a RampDiscover how simple machines have been used through the ages at these PBS websites.

  • Design a working model of a trebuchet and demonstrate the power of a Class 1 lever. Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Medieval Siege

  • Utilize an understanding of how a lever works to lift an obelisk, using as few of the weights and support stones as possible in this online interactive activity.
    Secrets of Lost Empires II: Lever an Obelisk

  • Interpret incomplete information by looking at something that exists to figure out how it works in order to build a simple wheel-and-axle machine.
    Supersonic Spies

  • Describe how complex machines are created from simple machines, and design and PBS Logo build a device that that can lift an object and then drop it into a specific location.
    MIT Competition: Battle of the Crazy Machines
Links for Teachers

GearsThis Sketching Activity from Science Learning Network leads students to a better understanding of how machines work through close observation.

Check out the Online Exhibit of Simple Machines from COSI-Hand-on Science Centers. (for upper elementary grade levels) This is a series of experiments about simple machines: levers, wheels and inclined planes.(Third Grade)

Investigate and report on Simple Machines from Scholastic
Teacher Guide

A few lesson plans about Force and Motion for the 2nd grade teacher.

ScrewThe Franklin Institute website called "Simple Machines"

This simple demonstration from the Franklin Institute shows how a screw is actually an inclined plane

Careers in Science from The Franklin Institute

PulleyFrom the University of Utah...Join a special crew as they "accept the challenge to assist in the completion of a city being constructed of massive stones. They must work without the advantage of modern technology. They have agreed to rely primarily on the use of the six simple machines to accomplish their mission."

ScrewdriverLearn how forces and simple machines can work together to create The Odd Machine! The Odd Machine Teacher's Guide for grades 2-6.

ScrewdriverAt the Inventor of the Week from MIT you can browse by inventor or by invention.
You can also " Learn more about invention with our interactive games and monthly Trivia Challenge."


ScrewdriverHere is another list of resources for teachers from the Kennesaw, GA school system.

Follow these links to:

IdahoPTV home D4K Dialogue for Kids home