Machines are used for many purposes in our daily lives when we need to transfer energy into motion or move materials in a controlled way. In learning about mechanical devices, students investigate how components are linked so that energy is transferred efficiently and desired functions are performed. A comparison of past and present technologies helps students recognize that different approaches have been used over time to meet common needs. Evaluations of efficiency, effectiveness and impacts on daily life, the community and the environment are important considerations in this unit.
Levers and Inclined Planes
Students explore how incline planes and levers are used to reduce effort and move heavy objects.
The Wheel, Axle, Gears, and Pulleys
Students explore how force is affected by distance using wheels, axles, gears and pulleys.
Energy, Friction, and Efficiency
Students explore how kinetic energy can be stored, efficiently used, and how friction can reduce efficiency.
Force, Pressure, and Area
Students explore pascal's law and mechanical advantage, how these concepts apply to mechanical systems and their calculations.
Hydraulics and Pneumatics
Student explore the difference between hydraulic and pneumatic systems and some examples.
Students explore how different systems and subsystems are combined to create machines.
Da Vinci Catapult
A mini-project to help develop the skills and knowledge needed to take on larger projects based on the mechanical systems unit.