20 Simple Machine Activities For Middle School


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Aug 04, 2023

20 Simple Machine Activities For Middle School

October 11, 2022 // by Lauren Du Plessis Simple machine activities ultimately

October 11, 2022 // by Lauren Du Plessis

Simple machine activities ultimately help our students gain a better understanding of the world around them and how things operate. All in all, there are 6 different types of simple machines, namely; the wheel and axle, a level and pulley, an inclined plane or ramp, and a wedge and screw. We've compiled a list of 20 intriguing activities that will not only spark your children's curiosity but also teach them more about simple machines and how they are crafted.

Have your students divide into groups and create a list of as many inclined planes as they can think of. The group with the most correct ideas at the end of 5 minutes, wins!

Learn More: Sunshine CHPC Utah Edu

This is a great activity for testing your learners' knowledge after an introductory lesson about simple machines. They're required to cut out the cards that depict various machines in the world before classifying them according to the type of simple machine at work.

Learn More: AG Classroom

Taking a look at different industries is an awesome way to come to an understanding of how much simple machines are intertwined as a part of our daily lives. This activity requires learners to take a look at the general layout of a farm and then label the simple machines they find.

Learn More: AG Classroom

Assign this scavenger hunt as a fun homework activity. Instruct your learners to find as many simple machines as possible in their home and garden- recording them in the correct categories as they go. This activity allows them to not only revise their work outside of the classroom but also truly come to grips with the various functions simple machines play in the world.

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This crossword requires that learners employ critical thinking to recall what they have been taught. It tests their comprehension of the definitions and uses of all 6 simple machines and is a fast and effective way for teachers to assess if more time is required on the learning unit.

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This STEM activity allows students to truly understand how the parts of a machine work together in order to bring about the desired outcome. All you'll need to build this winch are 2 cardboard tubes, a spool, straw and string, tape and scissors as well as a small basket-like object to attach to the end of the string.

Learn More: Little Bins For Little Hands

This water wheel couldn't be simpler to pull together! Gather together paper cups and plates, tape, and straw to recreate this craft. Once built, use it to demonstrate to the class how the movement of running water turns the wheel which in turn rotates the entire machine.

Learn More: Little Bins For Little Hands

This activity encourages learners to get outside and explore the pulley mechanism. Help them build a pulley of their own by joining together a piece of clothesline, a bucket, and 2 pulleys. Once built, place toys or stones inside the bucket and allow the kids to give the clotheslines a pull and watch the bucket rise.

Learn More: Little Bins For Little Hands

This catapult craft demonstrates the simple rig of a lever. To recreate this simple craft all you'll need are a few cheap materials; rubber bands, 10 jumbo rubber bands, a bottle cap, sticky tack, and something like pom poms or erasers to fire!

Learn More: Little Bins For Little Hands

This wheel and axle project only requires the use of 4 items- a pencil, glue, string, and paper plates. Once assembled the craft demonstrates how a wheel rotates on an axle when some sort of force or pulling motion is applied.

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This sweet craft is another example of the wheel and axle mechanism. Thread 2 pieces of a straw through the top and bottom end of a clothespin before securing 4 buttons with bread ties to act as the wheels. To secure the axle, simply wrap a piece of tape around the back end of the car.

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Pinwheels are no longer just reserved for the town fair as they make great crafts for demonstrating the operation of a wheel and axle too! All you need are two pieces of square cardstock, a sturdy straw, and a split pin.

Learn More: Inventors Of Tomorrow

This activity demonstrates how our very own arms are simple machines! By combining paper arm cutouts using a split pin, paper clips, and string, we can demonstrate how the muscles in our arms work and give us the leverage needed to complete tasks. Your learners can attach their creations to a door handle and marvel at the effectiveness of a lever in action!

Learn More: Homeschool Den

This simple craft makes use of recycled materials and demonstrates the operation of a ramp. Use tape to attach 2 cardboard tubes to a wall and have your learners slide toy cars through them.

Learn More: The STEM Laboratory

This activity depicts how the cogs in a machine turn and power one another to bring about the desired outcome. All your learners need to create their own gears is a cardboard box, toothpicks, and wheel-shaped pasta which we'd recommend painting for some added fun and flair.

Learn More: Momgineer

Ferris wheels may seem like complex machines at first glance, but this activity demonstrates the simplicity behind the build. All your learners will need to build their very own Ferris wheel is a heap of popsicle sticks and glue!

Learn More: E-How

This track is an awesome craft for depicting the way a screw works. In essence, your students are making a spiral ramp and all they'll need to do so are small paper plates, a tube, an x-acto knife, and glue.

Learn More: Inventors Of Tomorrow

A screw is essentially a ramp wrapped around a rod. To help learners get to grips with the concept, have them make these beautiful paper beads. Once the beads have dried and hardened they can string them onto a piece of string to make a key ring.

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This hands-on STEM activity portrays the power behind the humble screw. By wrapping a thin piece of tubing around a stick, attaching it with string, and inserting diagonally into a basin of water, kids will soon start to see the magic. To get the water moving at first, simply have the learners each give a small suck on the top end of the straw.

Learn More: Homeschool Den

This recycled skipper toy displays the effectiveness of the crank mechanism. To recreate your very own you'll need; a wire crank, a cardboard base, and tube, a plastic bottle child as well as a stiff straw and glue.

Learn More: Arvin D. Gupta Toys

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Category: Classroom Ideas

1. Inclined Plane List Race 2. Machine Matching Activity 3. Analyze Farm Machines 4. Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt 5. Crossword 6. Build A Hand Crank Wrench 7. Make A Water Wheel 8. Make A Bucket of Pulley 9. Popsicle Stick Catapult 10. Paper Plate Wheel And Axel 11. Clothespin Car 12. Make A Pinwheel 13. Arm As A Lever 14. Toilet Roll Race Track 15. Pasta Gears 16. Popsicle Stick Ferris Wheel 17. Spiral Ball Track 18. Paper Beads 19. Screw To Transport Water 20. Crank Skipper