Simple Machines


Simple Machines (3rd-8th) 

Students are introduced to the six basic simple machines and are then challenged to design and build their own complex machine by combining multiple simple machines into one Rube Goldberg Machine. After the machines are built, students will present their design and describe the simple machines used in their machine.

SKU: Engin-SimpMach Category: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Lesson Overview

Students will:

  • Introduction to Rube Goldberg Machines as an example of complex machines made of simple machines 
  • Design and build their own Rube Goldberg Machines
  • Present their machines 
  • Identify the simple machines inside common everyday objects

Lesson Objectives 

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the six types of simple machines 
  • Design and build a Rube Goldberg Machine

This lesson is aligned with these Next Generation Science (NGS) Standards.

Standards Covered

Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI)

ETS1 Engineering Design – ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions 

  • (3rd-5th) Tests are often designed to identify failure points or difficulties, which suggest the elements of the design that need to be improved
  • (6th-8th) A solution needs to be tested and then modified on the basis of the test results, in order to improve it.

Science & Engineering Practice (SEP) 

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

  • (3rd-5th) Apply scientific ideas to solve design problems.
  • (6th-8th) Apply scientific ideas or principles to design, construct, and/or test a design of an object, tool, process, or system.

Crosscutting concept (CCC) 

Cause and Effect: Mechanisms and Explanation

  • (3rd-5th) Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
  • (6th-8th) Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
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