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Simple Machines. Essential Questions. What is the purpose of the simple machines?. Simple Machine Types. There are 6 basic kinds of simple machines. These are: Inclined Plane Wedge Screw Levers Wheel and Axle Pulley. Inclined Plane. An inclined plane is a flat, slanted surface.

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Essential questions
Essential Questions

  • What is the purpose of the simple machines?

Simple machine types
Simple Machine Types

  • There are 6 basic kinds of simple machines.

  • These are:

    Inclined Plane




    Wheel and Axle


Inclined plane
Inclined Plane

  • An inclined plane is a flat, slanted surface.

  • An example of an inclined plane is a ramp.

  • The longer the inclined plane, the less input force you need to push or pull an object.


  • Even though an inclined plane has no moving parts, work is lost due to friction.

  • This is because friction comes from the bottom of the box rubbing against the ramp.


  • A wedge is a device that is thick at one end and tapers to a thin edge at the other end. A wedge is used to cut through an object.

  • You can think of a wedge as an inclined plane that moves.


  • The longer and thinner the wedge is, the less input force is required.

  • An example of a wedge is: an axe, a knife, a screwdriver, boat.


  • A screw can be thought of as an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder.

  • An example of a screw is a jar lid, a bolt, and a faucet.


  • A lever is a rigid bar that is free to pivot or rotate around a fixed point.

  • The fixed point that a lever pivots around is called the fulcrum.

  • There are 3 classes of levers.

First class levers
First-Class Levers

  • First class levers have the fulcrum located between the input force and output force.

  • For example, scissors, seesaw, and pliers are first-class levers.

Second class levers
Second-Class Levers

  • Second-class levers have the fulcrum located closer to the output force.

  • Examples of second-class levers are nutcrackers, doors, bottle openers, and wheelbarrows.

Third class levers
Third-class Levers

  • Third-class levers have the fulcrum located closer to the input force.

  • Examples of third-class levers are fishing poles, shovels, and baseball bats.

  • BrainPop Video

Wheel and axle
Wheel and Axle

  • A wheel and axle is a simple machine made of 2 circular or cylindrical objects (wheels)that are fastened together and rotate around a common object (axle).

Wheel and axle1
Wheel and Axle

  • The larger object is called the wheel and the smaller object is called the axle.

  • An example of a wheel and axle is a screwdriver, door knob, or steering wheel.

  • BrainPOP video


  • A pulley is a grooved wheel with a rope wrapped around it.

  • You use a pulley by pulling on the rope.

  • A pulley that you attach to a structure is called a fixed pulley.


  • If you attach a pulley to the object you wish to move, then you are using a movable pulley.

  • If you combine fixed and movable pulleys, you can make a pulley system.

Compound machine
Compound Machine

  • A machine that utilizes two or more simple machines is called compound machine.

  • Examples are: bicycle, pencil sharpener, bulldozer.

Compound machine1
Compound Machine

  • Gears form a compound machine with one wheel and axle linked to another wheel and axle.

  • What machine works with gears? Bicycle

Mega point review
Mega Point Review

  • How does a doorknob work?

    The knob is a wheel and the axle pulls in the closer so the door will open.

  • What on a lever does not move?


Mega point review1
Mega Point Review

  • How are wedges and screws related?

    Both have inclined planes.

  • What are three ways in which a machine can make work easier?

    By changing the force, distance, or direction

Mega point review2
Mega Point Review

  • How can you determine if work is done on an object?

    Work is done when an object moves.