Simple Machines Design Project

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Make your work as a teacher a little easier with a physical science project on simple machines. After introducing young scientists to these devices and identifying their different uses around the school, this project engages children in applying their learning to the design of their own original machines.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • During the first session, set up tasks at the stations that demonstrate the advantage of using each type of simple machine
  • Find pictures of everyday objects that are simple machines to display during these lessons
  • When testing the machines children build, collect and analyze the entire class's data, using the information to develop ideas for improving their designs
Classroom Considerations

  • Though intended to take two weeks, this project can be shortened to better fit your individual class schedule
  • A wide variety of materials are required for this project, so be sure to plan ahead and ask for donations if necessary
Pros

  • A teacher reference is included with background information about the different kinds of simple machines
  • Worksheets and graphic organizers are provided that support student learning
  • Offers a clear list of criteria for the final design projects
Cons

  • These materials are a sample taken from a larger resource that is available for purchase, meaning that some materials listed in the table of contents are not provided