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Help the Hero: Simple Machines

Simple machine lever
Simple machine screw
Simple machine wheel and axle

This FutureFit Project is a supplemental project-based lesson covering Simple Machines and STEM. It is designed to reinforce core science subject material while also incorporating social-emotional learning and 21st Century skills and concepts.

Grades
3
4
5

OVERVIEW:

This FutureFit lesson is designed to supplement a standard 12-15 unit lesson on force and motion and simple machines for grades 3-5 Science by offering a unique project that ties together the core academic concepts with a set of FutureFit social-emotional and 21st Century Skills.

STUDENT/GROUP OUTPUT:

Students will explore the use of simple machines through various activities and participate in a STEM challenge to save the hero (or capture the villain) of their favorite movie using a simple machine they have created.

SUGGESTED SUBJECT PREREQUISITES:

It is suggested that students should have familiarity with the following subject material as background for this lesson:

  • A basic understanding of matter and energy
  • A basic understanding of force and motion
  • A basic understanding of measurement of force and motion
  • A basic understanding of simple machines

SEQUENCE AND PACING

This project-based lesson includes enough material for use in five 45-minutes periods of instruction. If a more focused lesson is appropriate, select the 3-day Short Lesson. The Concept Check version provides activities which reinforce the core math concepts.

TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES (suggested):

STANDARDS ALIGNMENT

These activities support the following NGSS curriculum standards:

  • 3-5-ETS1-1: Engineering Design: Define a Simple Design Problem
  • 3-5-ETS1-2: Engineering Design: Generate and Compare Multiple Possible Solutions to a Problem
  • 3-5-ETS1-3: Engineering Design: Plan and Carry Out Fair Tests
  • 3-PS2-1: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Plan and Conduct an Investigation
  • 3-PS2-2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: Make Observations and/or Measurements of an Object's Motion
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