Applied Science - Technology (1B)

  • Exploring and contrasting different tools.
  • Investigating how tools work.


  • axle
  • gear
  • lever
  • pulley
  • screw
  • wedge
  • wheel
  • hammer
  • screw
  • screw driver
  • nail
  • bolts
  • washers
  • toy car, plane, helicopter
  • pulley

Students identify simple machines from household tools.


A machine can transform motion into energy. Humans use machines to help transform this energy to help save time and to accomplish tasks that humans cannot do on their own. For example, using a wheel barrel will help a human carry heavier items then without it. The wheel barrel uses the principle of a wheel and axle and lever.

Modern machines are very complex, but they still use a combination of the three basic elements which include the wheel and axle, the lever, and the inclined plane. All simple machines are combinations. For example a screw is a wedge and a modified incline plane. A gear is a wheel and axle and lever.


  1. This lab is similar to Technology (1A) except the machines are more complicated. The emphasis in this lab is for students to recognize that machines are composed of many parts.
  2. Students will have fun just playing with the items, but they should also find one simple machine in each of the items. If available, add additional items to the lab, because the more examples students see, the more familiar they will become with simple machines.  
  3. Before the lab, review the vocabulary and when ready, have students rotate to each of the items.
  4. Students may be able to find more than one simple in some of the items; especially students who understand how simple machines work.
  5. The tools you should include are a hammer (lever, wedge), screw (screw), nail (wedge), screw driver (wedge, lever), bolts (screws), and washers (wheel).
  6. Toy cars, planes, helicopters and robot can be several simple machines. All can be a wheel and axle, or gears. If you have questions about the student's answers, have them justify why they decided on that particular machine.
  7. The pulley is (as it's name implies) a pulley. It is used to help lift heavy objects easily. Students may also see a wheel and axle.

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