Rivendell Science

Simple Machines – Grand finale!

The past three weeks have been… well, messy!  Our Simple machines grand finale has been different for every grade level.  And while your child may still sound confused while trying to explain “Mechanical Advantage,” they have learned a great deal about problem solving, collaboration and design thinking. These skills are where every good scientist and engineer begin right? Gaining the ability to move from feeling as if they are a failure, to realizing that they are only failing will result in GRIT (recent buzz word in education).  These two terms are Failing and Failure are similar, but  in the end result in a very different emotional outcome.

It has become my recent goal to introduce all Rivendell student’s  with the terms “experiment/trial and prototype/design test.”  This will be helpful in learning the concept of “try and try again” or “failing but not failure.”  Studying the 6 simple machines and how they work has led to creating some very fun and challenging projects.

  • PK enjoyed time playing with screws and wedges, constructing gears and creating tops to spin.
  • YK have created pulleys, game spinners and pinwheels. 
  • MK built pulleys on a flagpole, designed cars and utilized wedges of all kinds.
  • OK have built an auger to see the simplicity yet power in a screw. They used inclined planes to study increased length of  slope and decreased force and or increased slope to increase speed formulas. They have realized the absolute genius of Rube Goldberg while working to build their own collaborative machines. Others have designed their own car to race for distance or speed.