Kids will have fun learning about wedges and screws in this Simple Machines lesson. We have lots of free simple machine printables in this hands on science unit plus several simple machine wedge experiment. This is fun homeschool science lesson for pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students.
Wedges and Screws
In case you joined our simple machines unit and aren’t sure what a simple machine is, let me try to give you a simple explanation. Simple machines have few or no moving parts and are used to change motion in order to get a job done. There are 6 simple machines including: inclined plane, lever, wedge, wheel and axle, pulley, and screw. Keep scrolling to learn more about wedges and screws, and the rest of our simple machines for kids study, and lots of great resources!
Wedges and Screws Simple Machines
Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love this science lesson for young learners. You can just do one of the simple machine wedge experiment as summer learning or extra practice as you do school at home, or use our whole lesson in your classroom or homeschool. Either way, these ideas are loads of fun for kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 4 students.
What is a wedge?
A wedge is an inclined plane that is thick at one end and tapers to a point on the other, often used to separate things. They include things like the front of a ship, a chisel, the pointed end of a nail, a door stop, and more.
Simple Machine Wedge Experiment
We made two different types of paper airplanes to demonstrate a wedge in action. We made one with a pointed front (wedge) and those with flat nose. We discovered that the pointed nose (a wedge) made it go quicker.
Wedge Simple Machine
Another wedge experiment we tried was using the wedge, or pointed part of a pencil. The point of a pencil is also a wedge. To show how the wedge made it more effective, we tried to see which end, the flat or pointed end would go though the paper easier.
Screw Simple Machine
Screws are specialized inclined planes that are used to raise and lower things as well as hold things together. A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a rod. They include: screws, milk lids, oil drills, and more.
We read these books to help us understand what all is a simple machine screw and how they helped accomplish tasks.
Simple Machine Screw Activity
A screw is just a nail with an inclined plane wrapped around it. We wrapped a piece of paper around to visualize how an inclined plane becomes the circular pattern on the screw.
We observed that when the inclined plane is longer and the incline is more gradual there are more ridges on the screw. Now we made the paper shorter which made the inclined plane from the tip of the pencil to the surface more steep and as we’d learned that meant it was shorter, but more work. So when you wrap the shorter paper around the pencil it made fewer “bumps” up to the top. It was quicker to screw in, but took more effort or force to screw into the wood.
Simple Machine Projects
Using some scrap wood, we experimented by using screw drivers to drive in screws of different types into the wood. We observed:
- Which takes more turns to screw it in?
- Which screw do you think will hold better? Why?
- Which screw has the most distance wrapped around it?
- Which requires more work?
Then we screwed a screw through a two stacked up cardboard boxes. Then we put a nail through the plates. I asked the kids what they thought would hold better? They found that a screw held better.
Here is a good explanation, but basically the inclined plane that is wrapped all around the nail helps it to hold better.
We observed the different types of screws we had in our own house: milk cap, toothpaste lid, and more. We noticed how some lids stayed on better and were less likely to spill – the ones that were screwed on.
Simple Machines for Kids
- Inclined Planes for kids – explanation, activities, and resources
- Wheel and Axle for kids lesson with projects and other fun ideas
- Gears for Kids filled with lots of hands on activities
- Wedges and Screw Simple Machine Lesson for children
- Levers and Pulleys lesson for students
- I Spy simple machines for kids
- MATCH – Simple Machines Game
- 30 Simple Machines for Kids Projects
- Free Simple Machines Worksheet to fold into a clever booklet
- Candy Simple Machines Project
- Pulley Experiment from recycled materials
Looking for more outdoor activities for kids and things to do in the summer? Your toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, and elementary age kids will love these fun ideas to keep them busy all summer long:
- Marshmallow Shooters – go over 30 feet!
- Lemon Volcano is a fun Summer Experiment for kids of all ages
- 2 ingredient Easy Slime Recipe
- Super Simple Sand Slime
- Simple Summer Science Sunscreen Experiment
- How to Make a Lava Lamp – it’s super EASY!
- Scented, Watermelon Playdough Recipe for summer
- Kids will no nuts over this simple Pop Rock Experiment
- Mind-Blowing MAGNETIC Slime
- Leak Proof Bag – Amazing Science Experiment with Everyday Materials
- Mind-Blowing Magnetic Slime for Kids
- Easy Button Crafts for Kids
- Handprint Strawberry Craft for Summer
- Grow Your Own Crystals
- Water Balloon Experiment – exploring densit with an EPIC summer activity for kids
- Amazing Bubble Painting
- Sand Volcano Summer Science
- Mind Blowing Color Changing Playdough
Summer Activities for Kids
- Egg Shell DIY Chia Pet Craft – Silly Spring / Summer Activities for Kids
- Grass Head Craft for Kids
- EASY Stained Glass Pasta Art for Kids
- Simple Flower Mason Jar Lid Crafts
- Free Beach Worksheets for Kids
- Chromatography Butterflies – EASY Butterfly Craft for Kids
- Silly Bandaid Art Craft for kids
- Blow GIANT bubbles with this Homemade Bubble Solution
- Outrageously FUN Bubble Painting
- Bleeding Tissue Paper Fireworks Craft
- Beautiful Flower Suncatcher Craft
- 30 Fun June Crafts for Kids
- Kids will be amazed at the l-o-n-g colorful bubble snakes they can make with this easy activity
- Must try Lego Zipline
- Exploding Watermelon Science Experiment
- Homemade Chalk Recipe
- 75+ FUN Scavenger Hunts for Kids
- Find activities by month with our June Crafts for kids or our June Activities for Kids!
- 20+ Printable Roadtrip Games