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Published by robert.mcelroy, 2018-12-19 21:56:15

History of Simple Machines

History Of Simple Machines

The © Andrea Knight 2015 (Draw a picture to match the text below.)

History Imagine... thousands of years ago, a
of human needed to move a very large
Simple rock... a rock so heavy, it could not be
moved by one person alone. No matter
Machines how hard he pushed, the rock wouldn’t
move. As he sat down to rest, he noticed
This Science Book Belongs To: a long, sturdy stick on the ground and he
had an idea. He tucked one end of the
stick underneath the rock and pushed
down on the other end of the stick. The
rock rolled forward and a simple
machine was invented!

Page 1

Talk to a partner:
How does this
make this work

© Andrea Knight 2015
© Andrea Knight 2015

To do any work... to kick a soccer ball, to The idea of getting work done in an
ride a scooter, to brush your hair, or to lift easier or better way has been a goal of
a box... you need to use a pushing or humans since the beginning of time. It is
pulling motion called a force. Some common for people to brainstorm simpler
people are able to use more force than and quicker ways to do work. If you had
others, but there’s a limit to what even a choice, wouldn’t you rather make a
the strongest human body can do alone. physical job easier than harder?
Simple machines allow people to push
past those limits. Page 3

Page 2

(Add details to this picture to show what the Great
Pyramid of Giza looks like.)

© Andrea Knight 2015
© Andrea Knight 2015

Using simple machines, humans have With simple machines, humans have
been able to build amazing structures, created many of the things we see and
like the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. use today, such as shopping malls, cars,
This pyramid was built more than 4,000 and computers. In fact, simple machines
years ago and stands over 480 feet tall! are combined to make the compound
Workers used simple machines to move machines we use every day. Let’s take a
large, heavy stones into place until the look at the six simple machines and learn
pyramid was completed around 2560 more about their past.
B.C. That was very long time ago!
Page 5
Page 4

The Inclined The
Plane Lever

© Andrea Knight 2015
© Andrea Knight 2015

An inclined plane is a simple machine A lever is a simple machine that consists
with a slanted surface where one end is of a bar resting on a fulcrum, or a point
higher than the other end, such as a that does not move. Levers are often
ramp. Because of the sloped surface, used to help people move heavy loads,
the inclined plane helps people move but they can also be used to pry objects
objects easily between high places and apart. Believing early humans used long
low places. Some scientists believe that sticks to move heavy objects, many
inclined planes and rollers (wheels) were scientists think the lever was the first
used to build the ancient pyramids. simple machine.

Page 6 Page 7

The The
Pulley Screw

© Andrea Knight 2015
© Andrea Knight 2015

A pulley is a simple machine with a rope, A screw is a simple machine that consists
a chain, or a cable that moves around a of a twisted inclined plane used for lifting
wheel. A pulley can help lift heavy items or for holding objects together. The
objects up and down. Pulleys can also ancient Greeks were the first to use
move objects back and forth. Historians screws in machinery, such as presses.
believe that pulleys were used to build They were later used as fasteners in
Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument military weapons, holding pieces of metal
located in England. Some of its largest together.
stones are 30 feet tall and weigh 25 tons!
Page 9
Page 8

The The Wheel
Wedge and Axle

Draw and label a Draw and label a
wedge you might find wedge you might use

in a kitchen. to cut wood.

© Andrea Knight 2015
© Andrea Knight 2015

Wedges are sharp or pointy simple A wheel and axle is a simple machine in
machines used to separate or cut objects which a round wheel turns around an
apart. Although scientists debate which axle. Wheels help people move heavy
simple machine was used first, some objects faster and farther by reducing
believe it was a wedge. Simple wedges friction. Logs were once used to move
have been used for thousands of years to heavy objects along by rolling them.
split rocks, scrape animal skins, and hunt Around 3000 B.C., logs were modified into
for food. simple wheels and axles... one of the
most important inventions in history!
Page 10
Page 11

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