Students should learn that science
and math help technology develop through the ages. We often forget the
reasons behind the ease and comfort of our present society. Sure we all
have TV's, radios, phonographs, electric hair dryers, and other
comforts, but do we really understand what actually makes them work!
Although gears, wheels, pulleys, and
other machines are simple in design, they were needed before humans
could reason into higher levels of technology. The mechanics and physics
of these simple devices were not realized when they were discovered, the
machines just worked. In order to fulfill basic everyday needs, early
humans sought ways to satisfy them. Thus using bone, wood, and stone
they fashioned simple tools for digging, killing, and scraping. When
early humans wanted to move items or get items they wanted, they would
use reason to "invent' these devices.
- Discuss with students that the
human body is a well designed machine. Many mechanical machines help
humans do work more easily. Define machines as objects that make our
work easier. Show examples of machines and tell how each one help humans
lift, carry, push, pull, dig, carry, cut, turn or stir.
- Read the words with the students
at the bottom of the enclosed worksheet. Have them find a word that
describes how each machine helps us. Copy it onto the blank below the
picture. Note: some machines may help in more than one way, for example,
a tow truck may not only help carry people but lift and pull a car. A
pair of pliers may help turn a nut or pull out a nail. If students can
support their word choice, it is right.
- Go over the worksheet. Ask what
words students used for each machine. Discuss their choices and suggest
others. Ask them to give examples of machines that carry, lift, push,
pull, dig, cut, turn, or stir. If time permits, make up a couple of
riddles that use these words. For example, "I do not eat, but I
help you carry food in a grocery store. You must push me". What am
I? (A grocery cart.)