Friday, March 1, 2013

Simple Machines- wheels and inclined planes

 This week we began studying simple machines.  We began by exploring wheels.  First, we compared pulling someone on a wagon turned upside down (using no wheels) to pulling someone on a wagon using the wheels.  All of the children found that it was much easier to use the wheels!   We thought of many machines that utilize wheels and some children made a list of those machines. 

We also demonstrated how the wheel concept works as a table top activity. 

 The next simple machine we explored was the inclined plane. Here we lifted a stack of heavy books by pulling them up with a rope.  This proved to be a difficult task! 

 We then asked the children to pull the books up using an inclined plane.  A smooth piece of wood was used.  This was much easier! 

We then used table top works to continue this experimentation.
These types of activities gives the children a concrete experience of the definition of what a machine is: things which make work easier. 

Both of these experiments are from the wonderful book, "Nuturing the Young Scientist: Experiences in Physics for Children" by Meg Murphy Fedorowicz. 

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