Sunday, July 29, 2012

Science Lesson: Simple Machines

We will be incorporating chores and responsibilities more diligently for our girls in the upcoming weeks. So before I got into the nuts and bolts of our agenda,  I wanted us to start talking about the notion of work and how things get done in our world. So we spent part of the day playing with and constructing some simple machines.

The six types of simple machines are:
-lever wheel and axle
-wheel and axle
-inclined plane
We only got to the first four today.
We started with this pulley idea inspired by KidsActivitiesBlog:
 Dad was super helpful with today's activities. We tied a heavy text book with rope and then looped it over a rolling pin. We loved comparing how heavy things felt when using our hands vs the pulley. 

Next up was the lever:
 We used a slab of wood placed over our rolling pin and discussed how easy it was to lift objects by pushing down on the opposite side.

We also had Dad make us a slingshot since it is a lever as well.
We then shot mini-marshmallows all over the house.

We also made a really simple wheel and axle using cheerios and a paintbrush.
 We discussed the cheerio's ability to spin while it was on and off the axle.

The last machine for the day was the inclined plane.
As you can see little sister much preferred climbing to pushing textbooks. Possible foreshadowing?

I'm really excited to show the girls how these machines are all over their playgrounds as well:

1. Inclined plane= slide
2. Wheel and Axle= steering wheel found on jungle gym
3. Lever= see-saw, although those are hard to come by these days
4. Pulley= we will bring some rope and improvise
5. Screw= swings and so many other objects in park are attached by screws
6. Wedge= used to keep door open in the park's restroom

We also watched The Little Engine That Could video to tie in the idea of a good work ethic. More on this in upcoming posts.

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