WebQuest Template

 

A Webquest Exploring Simple Machines


Introduction | The Task | Resources | The Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
- Thomas Edison

Introduction

You have just been hired as an inventor for a new company called the Pelham Project Mill.  The company has a huge stockpile of inclined planes, pulleys, levers and other simple machines.  They need to develop a new product that their customers will love, but will also save costs by using up their current stockpile of goods!


The Task

The title of this page, "Discover, Invent, Present," might give you a clue that there will be three parts to your assignment. 

You will first need to use the Internet to DISCOVER different types of simple machines.  You will read about them, see animations of them in action, and see how they have already been used in other people's inventions.  The things you learn through this research will be recorded in an "Invention Journal".

You must then INVENT a new contraption that utilizes at least one of the simple machines you discovered.  You will submit a diagram of your proposed invention to your "boss."  When it is approved you will build a working model of your invention. 

You will be asked to PRESENT your invention at the Invention Convention.   Do a good job and you might find yourself awarded the title, "Inventor of the Year."


 Resources

FRANKLIN INSTITUTE: Simple Machines

EDHEADS: Simple Machines

BRAINPOP: Simple Machines

FLYING PIG: Mechanisms


The Process

DISCOVER

  1. Visit the FRANKLIN INSTITUTE: Simple Machines website and/or the
    EDHEADS: Simple Machines website
     
  2. Scroll down the page and read about the simple machines.  Focus your attention on Inclined Plane, Pulley, Lever, and Wheel and Axle.
     
  3. In your Invention Journal jot down the facts that you think are most important to remember about that simple machine.
     
  4. You may click on the "extra information" links on the FRANKLIN INSTITUTE page to learn even more!
     
  5. Visit the BrainPOP: Simple Machines website
     
  6. Click on "LEVER: HEAVE HO," "INCLINED PLANE: A PLANE THAT DOESN'T FLY," and "PULLEYS: LIFT MANY TIMES YOUR WEIGHT." 
     
  7. Play and watch each of the videos to see the simple machine come to life!
     
  8. Take the quiz for each simple machine to test your newly discovered knowledge!
     
  9. Draw a labeled diagram of all three simple machines in your Invention Journal.  Be sure to label all parts.

    Important! 

    BrainPOP only allows you to do two activities a day without a subscription. 
    You will have to do steps 5-9 over more that one day!
     
  10. Visit the EDHEADS: Simple Machines Homepage
     
  11. Click on: Simple Machines Activities: CLICK HERE TO START
     
  12. Click on: The House.
     
  13. Explore the four rooms and find all ten simple machines in each room.  Write into your Invention Journal the name of the room, the name of each of the ten objects, and the type of simple machine it is.
     
  14. As you finish each room, print out the Score Sheet and tape it into your Invention Journal.
     
  15. Click on: The Tool Shed
     
  16. Explore all four compound machines.  Write into your Invention Journal the name of each compound machine and the simple machines that are found within them.
     
  17. When you complete the Tool Shed, print out the Score Sheet and tape it into your Invention Journal.

 

INVENT

  1. Design an invention that you are pretty sure does not already exist.  Make sure it uses a pulley, lever, inclined plane or wheel and axle.  It may ALSO use any of the other simple machines you learned about.  (Resource of more advanced simple machines can be found at Flying-Pig)
     
  2. Draw a plan of your invention that includes a labeled diagram.
     
  3. Submit your plan to your boss (the teacher) and get her/his approval.
     
  4. When you have received approval begin building your invention.  Make sure you work neatly and follow your approved plans!
     
  5. Create a catchy name for your invention!

 

PRESENT

  1. Design a display that "sells" your invention.
     
  2. Include facts that you have learned about simple machines.
     
  3. Include the plans of your invention in the display.  Be sure to communicate what simple machines are used in your invention.
     
  4. Leave room in your display for your constructed invention!

 


Evaluation

DISCOVER 4 3 2 1
Note-Taking


Notes are recorded and organized in an extremely neat and orderly fashion.

Notes are recorded legibly and are somewhat organized.

Notes are recorded.


Notes are recorded only with peer/teacher assistance and reminders.

Fact Identification


Student accurately locates at least 5 facts in the article and gives a clear explanation of why these are facts, rather than opinions.


Student accurately locates 4 facts in the article and gives a reasonable explanation of why they are facts, rather than opinions.

Student accurately locates 4 facts in the article. Explanation is weak.

Student has difficulty locating facts in an article.

Diagram Drawings


Lines are clear and not smudged. There are almost no erasures or stray marks on the paper. Color is used carefully to enhance the drawing. Stippling is used instead of shading. Overall, the quality of the drawing is excellent.

There are a few erasures, smudged lines or stray marks on the paper, but they do not greatly detract from the drawing. Color is used carefully to enhance the drawing. Overall, the drawing is good.

There are a few erasures, smudged lines or stray marks on the paper, which detract from the drawing OR color is not used carefully. Overall, the quality of the drawing is fair.

There are several erasures, smudged lines or stray marks on the paper, which detract from the drawing. Overall, the quality of the drawing is poor.

Diagram Labels


Every item that needs to be identified has a label. It is clear which label goes with which structure.


Almost all items (90%) that need to be identified have labels. It is clear which label goes with which structure.

Most items
(75-89%) that need to be identified have labels. It is clear which label goes with which structure.


Less than 75% of the items that need to be identified have labels OR it is not clear which label goes with with item.

Simple Machine Identification

All five of the Edheads locations (Garage, Bedroom, Kitchen, Bathroom, Tool Shed) were visited and all simple machines were identified.


All five of the Edheads locations (Garage, Bedroom, Kitchen, Bathroom, Tool Shed) were visited and most simple machines were identified.


All five of the Edheads locations (Garage, Bedroom, Kitchen, Bathroom, Tool Shed) were visited but many simple machines were not identified.

Not all of the five Edheads locations  were visited and/or many of the simple machines were not identified.
 

INVENT 4 3 2 1
Plan

Plan is neat with clear labeling for all components.

Plan is neat with labeling for most components.

Plan provides labeling for most components.


Plan is not clear enough or is otherwise inadequately labeled.

Construction


Great care taken in construction process so that the structure is neat, attractive and follows plans accurately.


Construction was careful and accurate for the most part.  Some details could have been refined for a more attractive product.


Construction accurately followed the plans, but many details could have been refined for a more attractive product.


Construction appears careless or haphazard. Many details need refinement for a strong or attractive product.

Design


Multiple simple machines are utilized in a  way that clearly enhances the working of the invention.


One simple machines is utilized in a  way that clearly enhances the working of the invention.


One or more simple machines are utilized in  the invention, but does not enhance the way the invention works..


A simple machine is not effectively utilized in the invention.

Creativity


Totally original invention, no element is an exact copy of an existing designs.


Most of the invention is unique, but 1 element may be copied from source material.


Some aspects of the mask are unique, but several elements are copied from source materials or other students.


The mask is a copy of a mask seen in source material or one made by another student (80% or more of elements are copied).

PRESENT 4 3 2 1
Required Elements


The display includes all required elements as well as additional information.

All required elements are included on the display.


All but 1 of the required elements are included on the display.

Several required elements were missing.

Content


At least 7 accurate facts about simple machines are displayed.

5-6 accurate facts about simple machines are displayed.

3-4 accurate facts about simple machines are displayed.


Less than 3 accurate facts about simple machines are displayed.

Graphics


All graphics are related to the topic and make it easier to understand. All borrowed graphics have a source citation.


All graphics are related to the topic and most make it easier to understand. All borrowed graphics have a source citation.

All graphics relate to the topic. Most borrowed graphics have a source citation.


Graphics do not relate to the topic OR several borrowed graphics do not have a source citation.

Titles & Labels


All items of importance on the poster are clearly titled and labeled with titles and labels that can be read from at least 3 ft. away.


Almost all items of importance on the poster are clearly titled and  labeled with titles and labels that can be read from at least 3 ft. away.


Several items of importance on the poster are clearly titled and labeled with titles and  labels that can be read from at least 3 ft. away.

Titles and labels are too small to view OR no important items were labeled.

Conclusion

Just think of all the products we use in our lives that once did not exist on our planet!  They are only here because someone just like you once imagined them inside of their brains and created them!  Congratulations.  You have now earned the title of "Inventor". 

Don't stop, but keep on inventing things that will make our world a better place!


This page written by John Griffiths and Adele Reynolds
for the Pelham Public Schools
Pelham, New York 10803


Last updated: September 24, 2004