3+ (Ages 8+)
40 minutes per lab
Unit Essential Question(s)
- How can we conduct an investigation to observe cause and effect relationships?
- How do simple machines make work easier?
The following concepts will be covered throughout this Unit:
- What happens to an object when a force is applied to it.
- A simple machine is a device that changes the direction or strength of force, and is used to make work easier.
- How to articulate the purpose of the investigation.
Click on the following tabs for a summary of what the students will do and learn in each lab.
Unit Standards will be addressed in every Lab within the Unit.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
NGSS 3-PS2-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
How Standard is Achieved: In Lab 1: Students will plan and conduct an investigation to explore how the imbalanced force of gravity causes the Blue Wheel to roll down an inclined plane during the Play section. Through the investigation, students will also observe the cause and effect relationships between the height of the Inclined Plane and the distance that the Blue Wheel travels. The investigation will consist of making predictions and then testing and documenting how far the Blue Wheel will travel when rolled down different heights of the Inclined Plane on their Data Collection Sheet.
In Lab 2: In Play Part 1, students will investigate the effects of the pivot point on the Lever’s ability to do work and use the least amount of force. In Play Part 1, they will test different pivot points of the Lever with a Disk on each side. The three pivot points will create unbalanced weight between the two sides of the Lever, indicating unbalanced forces. In Play Part 2, students will use data from their tests to determine the best location for the pivot point to reduce the amount of force needed to lift three Disks, thus making work easier.
In Lab 3: Throughout the Play section, students will conduct an investigation in which they explore how the wheel and axle affect the distance their Spring Car travels. Students will investigate this by testing the distance their Spring Car will travel with and without wheels. The investigation will consist of testing the distance the Spring Car travels without wheels in Play Part 1, then with wheels in Play Part 2.
In Lab 4: In Play Part 1, students will collect data based on the movement of gears. They will record the size of that gear and the next gear in the build. Students will also record and compare the speed of movement between those two gears. Students will use the movement data to make a prediction during the Mid-Play Break about what will happen if another two gears were added to the Clock. Students will test their predictions and the additional two gears in Play Part 2. In the Share section, students will share their results and observations on the accuracy of their predictions.