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Oct 3, 2012

Applied Science:Technology Part 2


BACKGROUND: A lever can help move heavy objects by using weight effectively. A see-saw is a lever that helps you pick up another person of the same or greater weight. 
A wheel and axle work together to make objects move easily. A car, bicycle, and motorcycle all use wheels and axles. 
A gear helps distribute energy and moves objects. Many machines such as cars, lawn mowers, and bicycles have gears. Students will be most familiar with the gears on a bike. 
A pulley helps lift and move difficult objects. Examples include two pulleys on a clothes-line or big cranes that lift large objects. A wedge helps to concentrate energy. If a logger wants to cut a log, an axe is used.
  1. Discuss different machines that use simple machines. Students have learned some basic words to help them describe how a simple machine works. Go over the vocabulary list and show or discuss examples of each of the simple machines.
  2. In your module use a garlic press, an apple peeler, an egg beater and smasher. Show each of the machines to the students and slowly go over the function of each of the machines. In this exercise the students should look at several ways that these mechanisms work.
  3. This activity works best if you have adults at each area demonstrating the different simple machines. Have the students examine and experiment with each machine except for the apple peeler. 
Station 1. APPLE PEELER. Have the children guess what is going to happen to the apple when the apple peeler is used. Go over the parts of the apple (skin, core, meat) as you cut the apple skin away from the meat. The apple peeler is used as a lever to cut the apple. The blade however, is shaped as a wedge. Give each child a sample of the apple to test.

Station 2. EGGBEATER. Have the children try and make the eggbeater work in a tub of soap water. Emphasize that they are using gears to make the eggbeater move. Students love this activity, so prepare for a mess!

Station 3: Garlic press/slicer: Have the children try and figure out how the garlic press works. You may want to demonstrate if they are frustrated. Let them play with it before and after learning that the press is a lever. (optional: use a ball of clay with a egg slicer instead)

Station 4. Potato masher.  Have the children hold the handle with both hands then push down into the potatoes. (hint: over-boil the potatoes so they're easier to mush up).
It was quite entertaining watching Junior move through each station and discuss what he thought each tool was for. He enjoyed using the hand and electric egg beaters the best but also thought smashing the potatoes was fun as well. I really enjoy these special moments learning alongside my son and seeing him explore the world around him.

Happy Homeschooling!

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