Every day you use machines without even thinking about it. A machine is anything that helps make work easier. Basic tools like staplers, screwdrivers and scissors are simple machines. These machines are all based on simple inventions like levers, planes, pulleys or wheels.
Fun Facts about Simple Machines for Kids
- A lever is a stiff board or bar that rests on a base called a fulcrum. The fulcrum lifts and moves objects. Scissors, pliers, rakes and staplers are all types of levers.
- A pulley has a rope and wheels. It can be used to pull things up. An old-fashioned well uses a pulley to pull water from underground.
- A wedge has a pointed end. It can be driven into something to separate it. An axe is a wedge. So is a nail.
- A wheel and an axle is a type of simple machine. A wheel has a rod, or axle, running through it. Your bicycle wheel has a wheel and axle.
- An inclined plane has a slope that takes you from a lower surface to a higher one. A sloped sidewalk is an inclined plane. A dump truck and a roller coaster also have inclined planes.
- A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a rod. It holds things together securely.
Simple Machine Vocabulary
- Stiff: firm, unbendable
- Base: foundation
- Separate: move apart
Learn More All About Simple Machines: Types and Functions
Watch this video all about simple machines:
A cartoon video about the types and functions of simple machines.
Simple Machine Q&A
Question: Who invented the first simple machines?
Answer: The Greek scientist and mathematician, Archimedes didn’t invent simple machines, but he did develop and improve them. Early man invented the first machines over 2 million years ago. These were rock axes. People made windmills and water movers around the time of the birth of Christ. Even monkeys and some other animals use simple machines like sticks and rocks to get food.
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