How simple machines help you.

by Elmo Adams

Prime property to use for this one.\

Prime property to use for this one.\

We did this one in the 5th grade.

We obtained a piece of a fallen tree that looked like a miniature tree. It was about three feet tall after we trimmed it. We mounted it on a piece of plywood so it stood and looked like a small tree. We added other features so our tree looked like it was in a backyard.

Then we used small pieces of wood to construct a small treehouse in our tree. We attached several examples of simple machines to work for our tree house.

For example, a pulley system was used to rig a basket to raise and lower items to our treehouse. The ladder to the treehouse was an inclined plane. We also had examples of the wheel and axle and the lever.

Typed note cards explained the simple machines.

We did all the work in class. There were about five students in our group. Other groups worked on other projects about astronomy and geology. There was much enthusiasm among all the groups.

We entered our project in the city science fair and won third place.

Barry's Response Elmo:

Not did you have a good scientifically demonstrative display, but you probably had one of the most attractive ones in the
science fair as well. Thanks for taking the time for this description.

Remember the six simple machines we learned in school: the lever, wheel & axle, inclined plane, wedge, screw and the pulley. Apparently the scientists of the Renaissance (c. 1300 to 1650) defined these devices, although five of them were set out by the Greeks centuries before.

Did the project involve
calculations of mechanical advantage?

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