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Simple Machines

Machines are devices that make it easier to do work by increasing the force you can apply.

There are three types of machine to learn about:

1. Levers

These use a long pole and a pivot point to increase a force

2. Pulleys

These use a rope running over a pulley wheel to increase a force

3. Gears

These use cogs with teeth in to increase the force and also transit it from one part of a machine to another.

Below is a video of a Rube-Goldberg machine. It is a very complicated arrangement of moving parts that make up a large machine. See if you can spot examples of levers, pulleys and gears as you watch.

How do pulleys work? Watch the video and find out.

Follow these hyperlinks to learn more:-

  1. Try building your own Rube-Goldberg machine
  2. Teachers info – also useful for students!
  3. Bill Nye Video on Machines

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