Students interact with the physics of simple machines daily without realizing it. Open their eyes and critical thinking with this Simple Machines Accessibility STEM / PBL Project. Simple machines lesson sets the stage as students will explore everyday objects as simple machines and begin to understand difficulties people with disabilities may have. For the design challenge, students go through the design process to create product prototypes to enhance the lives of others. Projects will be shared for consideration by peers with a gallery walk. They will never look at common objects the same way again! Includes presentation (32 slides) with lesson, activities, video link, brainstorming, project instructions and teacher resources. Student response pages provide framework, reflections, structure, design instruction and gallery walk (7 student pages).
Objective: Using the lens of simple machines, students will create prototypes of products to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Students will identify simple machines, their everyday counterparts and use problem solving skills to improve the design of existing items. This project can be used as an interdisciplinary PBL or as a STEM project.
Science Standards – TEKS: Science Skills: 6,3B, 8.3B use models to represent aspects of the natural world. Content: 8.6 Force, motion, and energy. The student knows that there is a relationship between force, motion, and energy: 8.6(A) demonstrate and calculate how unbalanced forces change the speed or direction of an object’s motion; 6.8(E) investigate how inclined planes can be used to change the amount of force to move an object. This lesson also addresses other state standards, they are too numerous to list here – you know your standards!)
ATL/SEL Skills: These are known as “Approaches to Learning” skills (ATL). These are more commonly known as SEL or social and emotional skills. ATL Skills for this lesson: Communication – Interactive Skills – Give and receive meaningful feedback
Lesson Structure and Teacher Tips: The lesson structure gives an introduction or review on simple machines. Students will explore everyday objects as simple machines and then begin to understand difficulties people with disabilities may have. Students go through the design process to create a prototype for consideration by peers with a gallery walk.
This lesson is designed for 3-4 class periods.
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