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Simple Machines for Kids

Simple Machines

Simple Machines are devices that affect the force or effort needed to do a certain amount of work. Machines can make a tough job seem easier by enabling a person to apply less force or to apply force in a direction that is easier to manipulate. There are four types of simple machines: the lever, the pulley, the inclined plane, and the wheel and axle. Each machine affects the direction or the amount of effort needed to do work. Most mechanical machines, such as automobiles or power tools, are complex machines composed of many parts. However, no matter how complicated a machine is, it is composed of some combination of the four simple machines.
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Simple Machines
Grade: 4 - 12
Simple machines for kids - An introduction to simple machines.
5:45
 

The Inclined Plane
Grade: 4 - 12
The lesson demonstrates how an inclined plane allows us to trade increased distance for decreased force.
4:50
 

The Lever
Grade: 4 - 12
The lesson demonstrates the principle of the lever - The longer the arm of the lever to which force is applied, the less that force need be.
4:50
 

Mechanical Advantage and Friction
Grade: 4 - 12
Learn about mechanical advantage - the factor by which a machine multiplies the force or torque applied to it. The lesson compares the mechanical advantage of an inclined plane with that of a lever.
4:50
 

The Screw and The Wheel
Grade: 4 - 12
The lesson explains the working of a screw and a wheel; a screw is simply a twisted inclined plane; a wheel is simply a circular lever, whose fulcrum has become an axle.
4:50
 

The Pulley
Grade: 4 - 12
The lesson explains how a pulley works to lift a heavy object. If we double the number of ropes supporting the weight, we double the mechanical advantage.
4:50
 

What is Work
Grade: 4 - 12
Understand the concept that Work = Force x Distance. In the video, a circus troupe helps present the physics definition of work.
4:55
 

Potential Energy
Grade: 4 - 12
Learn about potential energy - the energy of position. A rock teetering on the edge of a cliff is demonstrated to have potential energy.
4:50
 

Kinetic Energy
Grade: 4 - 12
Learn about kinetic energy - the energy of motion. Animated billiard balls help demonstrate kinetic energy.
4:50
 

How Pulleys Work
Grade: 4 - 12
In this lesson, an aerospace engineer explains how pulleys work, and how they are used to lift and transport the massive space shuttle.
3:10
 

How Gears Work
Grade: 4 - 12
The lesson discusses gears and how they work together as a simple machine. With a demonstration, it explains primary and follower gears, and how different-sized gears affect rotational speeds.
4:30
 

Simple Machine
Grade: 4 - 12
A lesson on simple machines - the types of machines, examples and uses.
4:45
 

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Related science topics: Types of Forces, Laws of Motion, Law of Conservation of Energy and Mass
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