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Curriculum Technology

Exploring Simple Machines with Activities & Apps

Setting science in motion will be a breeze with this collection of resources for working with simple machines.

Students are innately curious, and the intricacies of everyday objects are at the very heart of simple machines. Exploring levers, wheels, pulleys, inclined planes, screws, and wheels & axels allows students to see how these applications allow work to be completed faster and better. When students explore the simple workings of these machines and create their own versions, a new understanding of everyday mechanisms come to life. This collection of resources will allow students to learn about simple machines and create their own in a variety of engaging ways.

h3>Activities & Resources

Science Trek Video & Resources– There are a host of resources here for the taking. The Simple Machines video is a great introduction that allows viewers to see all the machines in action in within real-life objects. There are also informational resources, games, links, and more that can be used to explore the topic.

Rube Goldberg Machines– The fun of Mousetrap, the excitement of dominoes falling, and the anticipation of a chain reaction can all be discovered with the invention of Rube Goldberg machines. Students can be tasked with incorporating all 6 simple machines to create a scientific display of movement.

Bright Hub Education’s 3 Project Ideas– These 3 low-budget project ideas will have students helping Barbie scale a mountain and sharing snacks with one another. The follow-up questions allow students to compare simple machine choices and forms of usage.

DIY– These short videos of other kids building and displaying their machines can be a perfect motivator for getting students to start creating. There are a variety of ideas for DIY machine projects that can be viewed, discussed, and replicated.

Apps

Simple Machines by Tinybop– Students can see simple machines in everyday life and then alter and test them in a variety of ways to complete different tasks. Users are able to see the invisible forces of real-world physics at work. Their modified machines can destroy castles, make music, send satellites into orbit, and more. The accompanying handbook that supports learning is just another bonus in this $2.99 app that gets kids excited about science.

Simple Machines Grades 3-8– Try out the free chapter and/or enjoy all 7 chapters for only $1.99 per iPad. This ready-made lesson plan comes with pre-assessments, reading passages, and activities for assessment. Printables, crosswords, and memory match games are also included to enhance student understandings.

Simple Machines by KIDS DISCOVER– When the love and interest of how everything works needs a place to flourish, there’s this affordable app by KIDS DISCOVER. At only $3.99, this app includes 3-D models, videos, animations, diagrams, cartoons, quizzes, puzzles, games, and more. Whether it’s leading the lesson or an engaging resource to further mastery of the concepts, this app will have kids coming back again and again to explore simple machines.

While the science behind them may be simple, finding engaging ways to help students learn about these machines doesn’t have to be a complex task. Through videos, challenges, games, puzzles, and more, students can be well on their way to gaining a deeper understanding of all the intricacies found in the world around them. This collection of apps and activities is a perfect springboard for the study of simple machines.