What is a Simple Machine?
It is a basic device with few or no moving parts that helps reduce the amount of time and energy needed to do a task. It makes work easier.
A force is a push or pull on an object that makes it move, slow down, speed up, or stop.
A simple machine reduces effort by changing a force’s direction, quantity, or speed.
Even though we don’t realize it, we use simple machines daily.
Let’s learn about the different types of simple machines around us.
A lever is a simple machine with a handle or bar called the arm moving around a fixed point called the fulcrum.
- The force or effort is applied to push or pull on the arm.
- This effort helps to move a load at another point.
- The balancing point between the effort and load is the fulcrum.
- A see-saw in the playground.
- A pair of scissors for cutting an object.
Wheel and Axle
The wheel and axle is a simple machine that consists of a wheel attached to a rod called the axle.
- The wheel and axle rotate together, and the force gets transferred from one to the other.
- It helps to move loads over a long distance.
- Bicycles use a wheel and axle to help us cover long distances quickly.
- A door knob in which the knob is the wheel, and the shaft of the lock is the axle.
An inclined plane is a simple machine with a sloping surface or a ramp.
- It is a plane surface set at an angle against another surface.
- It helps to move heavy objects up and down the ramp.
- A wheelchair can easily go up a ramp to get into a bus.
- An inclined plane is used in a dump truck to lower loads.
A pulley is a simple machine made by looping a rope over a wheel with a groove.
- Pulling down on one end of the rope causes an upward pull on the other end and can be used to lift heavy objects.
- When two or more pulleys are connected, a heavy load is lifted with less effort.
- A construction crane uses a pulley to lift heavy loads.
- Elevators use a pulley system to move up and down.
Let’s quickly recap what we learned about simple machines.
- A simple machine has many moving parts. True or False? False
- What type of simple machine uses an arm balanced on a fulcrum? Lever
- What type of simple machine helps us cover long distances quickly? Wheel and Axle
- What type of simple machine is used to move heavy loads from a lower to a higher position? Inclined Plane
- What type of simple machine uses a rope looped over a grooved wheel? Pulley