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.