Duration 1h 15min
Levers, pulleys, gears and cams are all examples of simple machines that can be used to make work easier. In this engaging, fun and very hands-on workshop students will investigate different types of simple machine. Activities include lifting a teacher with one finger, launching a helicopter and getting the attention of their servant! The workshop culminates in a challenge task where teams construct and use a model catapult.
Invention. Machines. Levers. Pulleys. Cams. Gears. Forces. Mechanics. Effort. Load. Pivot. Fulcrum. Mechanical Advantage Design.
- Recognise how simple machines can be used to make work easier.
- Appreciate that levers, pulleys, gears and cams can transform forces.
- Understand that complex machines are comprised of simple machines working together.
- Understand the basic scientific principles behind the functioning of each machine type.
- Experience first-hand the advantages gained by using simple machines.
- Investigate the structure and functioning of a catapult.
Content. Students will:
- Learn about different types of ‘simple machines’ and the scientific principles they employ.
- Gain direct, hands-on experience of levers, pulleys, gears and cams.
- Have the opportunity to volunteer to take part in entertaining role-play activities that illustrate the functioning and benefits of different machines.
- Work in small teams to investigate a range of activities, including using levers and pulleys to lift heavy loads and change the direction of a force as well as using gearing to launch a helicopter.
- In teams, assemble, optimise and deploy a model catapult to launch an object towards a target.
- Analysis and evaluation
- Apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
- Energy changes and transfers
- Simple machines give bigger force but at the expense of smaller movement (and vice versa):
- product of force and displacement unchanged.
- Forces as pushes and pulls, arising from an interaction between two objects
Design and Technology
- Understand how more advanced mechanical systems used in their products enable changes in movement and force.
- Flying objects and heavy weights, all used under supervision and with careful instruction.