Simple Machines

Simple Machines

Description: Participants will identify, use, and answer questions about simple machines and recognize the relationships between work, force and distance as they apply to each simple machine. Knowledge of the following six simple machines will be demonstrated:  lever, inclined plane, pulley, screw, wheel and axle, and wedge.



Event Supervisor: George and Artie Martin 



 event supervisor info
 Download the current rules here.  
 From the Event Coach Workshop.
 Sample test questions
 Event Coach Workshop slides 
 Click here to watch the very informative Workshop Video
 This event uses an optical answer sheet  Click to Learn more
more event info be careful
 Event Coach Workshop recapbe sure you're using the latest rules
 See the Elementary Workshop List for this season
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elem faq button web

What class of lever do you consider a pizza cutter to be? We have received different answers to this question from different sources.

The pizza cutter was used as an example of a tool where the fulcrum is considered to be the wrist or elbow of the user.  Therefore, it is a third class lever. 

On the sample test from 2014, question 40. The answer key says that the answer is C. Should the correct answer be A?

You are correct that the answer key is wrong.  The intent was to have two pulleys with the same Mechanical Advantage, but where one changes the direction of force but the other does not. However, the example was not well thought out.


The test you have from 2014 was the test used for the district competitions.  It was provided to coaches, for reference only.  It should have been destroyed after reviewing with the students in preparation for that year's regional competition.

How are you going to treat pi since the kids will not be able to bring in calculators?


No.  Only simple calculations are necessary and do not require the use of a calculator.  Scratch paper is provided for this purpose.


In the case of screws, will you be giving them the pitch?

 In the case of screws, students may be asked to evaluate how a change in diameter, or pitch will change the mechanical advantage.

How will you be handling pi in those instances where it needs to be used?


Students will not use Pi in calculations.  They only need to know when a formula for determining mechanical advantage includes Pi.  Students will only be asked to estimate or approximate mechanical advantage.