A series of worksheets that helps students identify simple machines and the work they do.

A simple machine is a device that has little no moving parts. Complex machines, which can do a great amount of work, are often just extended complications of the original six simple machines. You may not realize it, but you use things that are composed of these every day to make your life easier. Just think about the vehicle you used to get to school. Machines help make work easier for us, hence the word "simple". There are six simple machines. Levers are long pieces of material that form a see-saw to help us lift objects. A pulley is basically a wheel that has a rope going over it to help reduce the weight of lifting something. A ramp is an inclined plane. Inclined planes allow us to move things up vertically slower and requiring a little less force. When you smack two inclined planes together in the opposite direction you get a wedge. Wedges can be used to separate and hold things in place. Second only to fire, the wheel and axle allows us to transport things long distances. Screws are meant for holding things together they also can be used to open up areas.

The worksheet set starts by having students understand to identify various simple machines. We then advanced to identify how these tools are embedded in a more complex machine like a bicycle. We finish by having students quantify the advantage that simple machines give us. You will recognize these unsophisticated devices pretty quickly in all of the examples we will be showing you, now that you realize what they are and what they do. We will expand on with this topic by exploring compound machines and all the things that go into to making those work. We will end off the unit by learning to quantify the concept of mechanical advantage and learn about efficiencies. Engineers use these skills every day to evaluate the safest and most economical tools for their job sites. This is also how the government agencies classify the level of energy consumption in our home appliances. That is the rating on those big yellow tags when you get a new appliance.

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Print Simple Machines Worksheets

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Real World Examples of Levers

The classification of levers is based on the position of the fulcrum which in turn effects the effort and force required. Provide the classification (i.e, first, second or third) for each of the levers shown below.

Using Inclined Planes

A useful kind of simple machine is an inclined plane and some of these are further classified as wedges and screws. You will be classifying screws and wedges here.

Smaller Parts in a Bike

A bicycle is collection of many smaller machines working together. Provide labels for each of the simple machines you can identify in the diagram of a bicycle below. In this example we want you to focus on finding the lever, screw, and wheel/axle located on the bike.

Compound Machines

A compound machine is what we call a machine that is a combination of two or more simple machines. See what you can find in this series of machines.

Identify That Machines

Provide the names of the type of tool that is shown in the pictures.

Classes of Levers

For the levers shown in the pictures, classify each as a first, second or third class lever.

Mechanical Advantage

Machines reduce the force needed to perform work and in doing so create a "mechanical advantage" represented by the formula in the box? This measure is quantified as mechanical advantage.

Efficiency of Machines

Because machines lose work due to friction, the amount of work obtained from a machine is always less than the amount of work put into it.