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published by the Edheads
designer: Eric Bort
This interactive Flash activity invites kids to learn about simple and compound machines by investigating common household objects found in the kitchen and tool shed. The animated activities help them understand how the machines work and how to differentiate the various types of simple machine.  Additionally the site provides a glossary of important terms, lesson plans and a teacher's guide. This page is part of a larger collection of game-like animations developed to teach children about science.

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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
- 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
- Activity
- New teachers
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© 2000 edheads.org
Additional information is available.
activity, compound machine, everyday machines, machine terminology, simple machine
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 2, 2007 by Mandy Staff
Record Updated:
August 10, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 3, 2007

Fan and Propellor Blades in Ed Head Simple Machines Games

Author: Eve Totin
Posted: January 25, 2013 at 12:23AM

I thought that fan and propellor blades would be wedges since they move the air or water.  What type of machine are they?  


» reply

Re: Fan and Propellor Blades in Ed Head Simple Machines Games

Author: Bruce, ComPADRE Dir

Hi Eve,

The way they are using the definitions, a wedge is used for splitting or cutting through solid objects or materials and the inclined plane is used to move materials along the inclined surface with less force than is necessary to move it directly. So the incline, or pitch, on the fan blade and propeller makes it easier to push the air or water than trying to push with a surface perpendicular to the direction of motion.

Of course, these definitions are not precise and you can find different definitions, and different numbers of simple machines, in different places. The important physics is WHY the simple machines make doing jobs easier.

Hope that helps.

» reply

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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)
  • For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton's third law). (6-8)
Relationship Between Energy and Forces (PS3.C)
  • When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other that can cause energy to be transferred to or from the object. (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)

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

11B. Models
  • 3-5: 11B/E3. A model of something is similar to, but not exactly like, the thing being modeled. Some models are physically similar to what they are representing, but others are not.
  • 6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

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

This activity is an animated introduction to simple machines.   Designed for Grades 3-6, it helps children gain understanding of the different types of simple machine they encounter in their kitchens, garages, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Additionally the site provides a glossary of important terms, lesson plans and a teacher's guide.

Links to Units:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(Edheads, 2000), WWW Document, (https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo).
Edheads: Simple Machines, (Edheads, 2000), <https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo>.
APA Format
Edheads: Simple Machines. (2007, August 3). Retrieved November 29, 2021, from Edheads: https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo
Chicago Format
Edheads. Edheads: Simple Machines. Edheads, August 3, 2007. https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo (accessed 29 November 2021).
MLA Format
Edheads: Simple Machines. Edheads, 2000. 3 Aug. 2007. 29 Nov. 2021 <https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Edheads: Simple Machines}, Publisher = {Edheads}, Volume = {2021}, Number = {29 November 2021}, Month = {August 3, 2007}, Year = {2000} }
Refer Export Format

%T Edheads: Simple Machines %D August 3, 2007 %I Edheads %U https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo %O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D August 3, 2007 %T Edheads: Simple Machines %I Edheads %V 2021 %N 29 November 2021 %8 August 3, 2007 %9 application/flash %U https://edheads.org/page/SimpleMachinesInfo

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

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.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Edheads: Simple Machines:

Same topic as TryEngineering: Simple Machines

Hands-on lessons from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for grades 5-8. Designed to help kids understand the meaning of work as a physics term.

relation by Caroline Hall

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