Simple Machine Questions for Simply the Best
Introduction to Simple Machines and Work
The Canada Science and Technology Museum can be used to answer questions 1 to 5.
- 1. Why do we use machines?
- 2. What are the six simple machines?
- 3. What simple machines belong to the inclined plane family?
- 4. What simple machines belong to the lever family?
HowStuffWorks defines work for you.
Click on "What is a simple machine?" to find some important information
about work and simple machines from the Center of Science and Industry.
- 5. What does "work" mean in science?
- 6. Before you go on, see if you understand the concept of work by testing yourself at the Physics Classroom.
- 7. What is the formula (mathematical equation) for work?
- 8. A simple machine NEVER changes the amount of work done. What does a simple machine change?
- 9. What is the advantage in using a simple machine?
Turn to the Franklin Museum to answer the following question:
Search the Franklin Museum or Enchanted Learning to answer the following questions on levers:
- 11. Where is the fulcrum located in a class one lever?
- 12. List some examples of a class one lever.
- 13. Where is the load located in a class two lever?
- 14. List some examples of a class two lever.
- 15. Where is the effort located in a class three lever?
- 16. List some examples of a class three lever.
View animation of all three classes of levers at Enchanted Learning.
- 17. Now, sketch the three classes of levers. Be sure to label the effort, load and fulcrum.
Use the Lever Principle to solve the following problems:
Just when you think it's safe to advance to the next simple machine, another site provides an interesting challenge. See if you can Lever the Obelisk!
Additional members of the Lever family
Use this page on Pulley Basics to answer the following questions.
If you'd like to learn more about pulleys, visit the block and tackle page at HowStuffWorks.
- 23. What is a pulley?
- 24. What are the three types of pulleys?
- 25. Sketch and label all three types of pulleys.
- 26. What is the advantage of a fixed pulley? What is the disadvantage of a fixed pulley?
- 27. What is the advantage of a movable pulley? What is the disadvantage of a movable pulley?
- 28. What is the advantage of a combined pulley? What is the disadvantage of a combined pulley?
Now, visit the Franklin Museum to answer the following questions on wheels and axles.
- 29. What is a wheel and axle?
- 30. Explain how a wheel and axle works.
Return to the Franklin Museum to answer the following question on inclined planes.
- 31. What is an inclined plane?
E-how provides the answers for the following question.
Visit Which Path requires the most energy? and find out how distance and force change with different angles!
- 32. What is the architectural standard for a wheel chair ramp?
Hint: Construct a table to answer questions 33 to 39.
- 33. How much work is being done at 30, 45 and 60 degrees?
- 34. How far does the car travel on the 30 degree ramp?
- 35. How far does the car travel on the 45 degree ramp?
- 36. How far does the car travel on the 60 degree ramp?
- 37. How much force is expended on the 30 degree ramp?
- 38. How much force is expended on the 45 degree ramp?
- 39. How much force is expended on the 60 degree ramp?
- 40. What is the relationship between the distance the car travels and the amount of force expended when the angle of the inclined plane changes?
- 41. In your own words, explain why inclined planes are useful.
Additional members of the Inclined Plane family
Access the Canada Science and Technology Museum to answer the following:
Visit the Capital Region Science Education Partnership to find the answer to the following question. Be sure to scroll down to the section on wedges.
- 42. How is a wedge and an inclined plane related?
- 43. How is a screw and an inclined plane related?
- 44. How does a wedge differ from an inclined plane?
Congratulations!, You've reached the end of the introductory questions! Now, check to see how well you understand simple machines by analyzing some complicated machines.
- 45. Figure out what simple machines make up a lawn mover at the Center of Science and Industry
- 46. What simple machines make up a drill, corkscrew and jack? Find out at the Gadget Anatomy page at Boston's Museum of Science
- 47. The last site you'll be visiting is all about baseball. Your job is to hit a homerun by changing speed, angle and type of pitch. What does this have to do with simple machines? Well, a baseball bat is a lever. Tell your teacher the class of lever and then visit the Exploratorium's Science of Baseball.