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Wedges and Screws Simple Machines Lesson

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.
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.

wedges are simple machines

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.

   
Learn more about simple machines in these clever, easy to understand wedge books for kids.

Wedges help paper airplaces go quicker

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.

wedges help things cut through other things like this pencil

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.

screws are simple machines

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.

a nail is a stick with an inclined plane wrapped around it

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.

 

The first 5 minutes of this video offer a great visual explanation for how inclined planes and screws fit together.

Observing the effects of inclined planes on screws

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?

nails and screws simple machines unit for kids

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.

simple machine screws all over our house

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.

I Spy Simple Machines These no prep, free printable simple machine worksheets are a handy way to review what students have learned in a simple machines for kids science lesson. These science worksheets are a great tool to review and assess what kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students have learned.  FREE Simple Machines Game

Simple Machines for Kids

100 Amazing Food Experiments for Kids - so many clever edible science projects for kids of all ages to explore chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science! #scienceexperiment #scienceproject #kidsactivities capillary-action-science-experiment-for-kids DIY Lava Lamp - super easy way to make your own lava lamp with simple things you have around your house. This homemade lava lamp is such a fun science project for kids of all ages to sneak in some summer learning. This science experiment is for toddlers, preschoolers, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and kids of all ages at home, homeschool, summer camps, classroom, etc.

Fun Science for Kids

Looking for lots more fun, science experiments for kids? You’ve GOT to try some of these outrageously fun science experiments for kids! We have so many fun, creative and easy science experiments for elementary age children:

This amazing color changing slime is going to blow your mind! This heat sensitive slime will actually change color as your kids touch it because it is heat sensitive! This is a super cool project for kids you MUST TRY! Must try summer activity for kids to add to their summer bucket list  Help kids learn about what is under their skin with this fun, interactive, and hands on human body project for kids from toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. This can be a simple life size human body project or use our free printable templates to add bones of the body, organ templates, and more. This engaging science project is EASY and LOW PREP too.  dying flowers science experiment

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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