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Demonstrating Simple Machines


June 22, 2009

“Simple machines are really easy to demonstrate with tools from the hardware store. I keep a plastic storage box filled with a screw driver, hammer, vise, pulleys, clothesline, four or five toy cars about the same size, four or five smooth pieces of plywood for inclined planes for running the cars, some plastic drinking cups to attach to the clothesline as baskets for the pulley system, springs, a hand cranked egg beater to demonstrate gears, and scissors. I have many prepared bulletin board sets demonstrating each of the machines. I reinforce vocabulary with pictures showing force, fulcrum and load.  My kids love to participate in this unit and enjoy finding other household objects that are technically simple machines, such as a can opener, knife and broom.”

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