Simple Machines

We got one of those great Discovery Kits from our local library to start us off this year, Simple Machines.  It comes with a couple of books and hands on materials, I think mostly targeted and more interesting to the younger kids, but it’s been working for us to get us started and going in a new direction, adding a little something different to our main unit.

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We played a little with the materials, and then  gave something to do a little more research on.

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We read this book and decided to do a little more research than the book gave us at times, depending on what seemed interesting at the moment.

When reading about screws, we had fun, and posted about it here.

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When we read about gears, we checked out a new Discovery Kit from our library about gears and posted about it last month, here.

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Working with pulleys was fun too, though this kit in particular was a little tippy, but still fun I think.

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We also checked out some books and videos that gave us a little more insight in each one:

We found this narrow house, The Wedge from Scotland.  It is 47 inches wide in the front, making it the slimmest house in the world.  I wonder if they have as much trouble finding a washer and a dried fit through their door, as we have in our own house!  The good side of it, is that there is only one of each that we can actually buy.  No decisions issues here!

All these projects and thoughts in physics reminded me to Mark’s assignment while we were at Scindia School in India,  in his teaching semester.  His Physics Club decided to do a Rube Goldberg Machine, which by no means one can rely 100% on it, because that is the part of science that is not 100% certain.  It has uncertainty, it hace a margin of error, it has many possibilities that can go wrong not making this machine work, or do what is suppose to do.  But it doesn’t make it any less science.  It doesn’t make it a failure or something you can’t learn about, or less scientific.  No, I don’t think so. At least I don’t. Wow… just thinking about it brings me stress remembering all the worries and stress that brought to Mark and his students having to make it work this one time, for the show.  Wow… phew! I’m glad it’s over.


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