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published by the Edheads
designer: Eric Bort
This resource is a collection of interactive animations designed to help kids learn how forces and simple machines can work together to create the compound machine. Child-centered animated activities enhance understanding of how compound machines function and how they are differentiated from simple machines. Additionally the site includes a glossary of important terms, lesson plans, a teacher's guide and information about professionals who work with compound machines. This page is part of a larger collection of animated education resources for the elementary level.

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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
- Gravity
- Work and Energy
= Simple Machines
- Elementary School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Game
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Interactive Simulation
= Problem/Problem Set
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- New teachers
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Available by subscription
© 2000 edheads.org
Additional information is available.
compound machine, inclined plane, lever, pulley, simple machine
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 2, 2007 by Mandy Staff
Record Updated:
August 13, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 6, 2007

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 3-5: 4F/E1bc. The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have.
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.

11. Common Themes

11A. Systems
  • 3-5: 11A/E1. In something that consists of many parts, the parts usually influence one another.
  • 6-8: 11A/M2. Thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. The output from one part of a system (which can include material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. Such feedback can serve to control what goes on in the system as a whole.
11B. Models
  • 3-5: 11B/E4. Models are very useful for communicating ideas about objects, events, and processes. When using a model to communicate about something, it is important to keep in mind how it is different from the thing being modeled.
  • 6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
  • Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object's speed or direction of motion. (Boundary: Qualitative and conceptual, but not quantitative addition of forces are used at this level.) (3)
  • The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions. (3-5)
  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions. (6-8)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to building and revising simple models and using models to represent events and design solutions. (3-5)
    • Use models to describe phenomena. (5)

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion
Unit Title: Applications of Newton's Laws

This is a collection of interactive animations that depict how forces and simple machines work together to create the compound machine.  The authors designed it for Grades 3-6 to help children understand how compound machines function and how they are different from simple machines.  It would be a good follow-up to the resource directly above -- Edheads: Simple Machines.

Links to Units:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Edheads, 2000), WWW Document, (http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo).
Edheads: The Compound Machine, (Edheads, 2000), <http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo>.
APA Format
Edheads: The Compound Machine. (2007, August 6). Retrieved February 21, 2017, from Edheads: http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo
Chicago Format
Edheads. Edheads: The Compound Machine. Edheads, August 6, 2007. http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo (accessed 21 February 2017).
MLA Format
Edheads: The Compound Machine. Edheads, 2000. 6 Aug. 2007. 21 Feb. 2017 <http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Edheads: The Compound Machine}, Publisher = {Edheads}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {21 February 2017}, Month = {August 6, 2007}, Year = {2000} }
Refer Export Format

%T Edheads: The Compound Machine
%D August 6, 2007
%I Edheads
%U http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo
%O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 6, 2007
%T Edheads: The Compound Machine
%I Edheads
%V 2017
%N 21 February 2017
%8 August 6, 2007
%9 application/flash
%U http://edheads.org/?page=OddMachineInfo

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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