Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Science Project: Machine Chart...Inclined Planes

In case you haven't read my earlier blogs, my son went to public school part of this year but decided that he wanted to come back to homeschool. He made the all A's Honor Roll while he was there because a lot of the work he was doing he had already learned at home, so he was ahead of the other kids. When he came back home I just picked up where we had left off in our Alpha Omega curriculum, so I am trying to catch him up by doing some extra work during the summer...just enough to keep him busy without making him feel like he has no time off.

Today we continued working on a Machine chart that we had started which deals with simple machines. On our last lesson we worked on Levers, today we worked on Incline Planes. We first did an experiment where we created an incline plane by stacking 4 books on top of each other & then we placed one end of a board on them & the other end on the floor.

We then took one of his toy trucks & we were supposed to attach a spring scale to the front of it & lift it straight up in the air to measure the force it took to do so. Then you are supposed to again attach the spring scale to the front & pull it up the incline plane to the same height & again measure the force. However, we did not have a spring scale so I made him pay close attention to which was easier as he lifted with his own hand.

The lesson is that raising the load over a sloping distance is easier than lifting it straight up. The advantage of the inclined plane is that a man uses less force to do his work by increasing the distance he moves his load.

We then worked on our Machine chart, (see earlier posts on how to make your own). Last time we had worked on the column for "Levers". Today we marked the second column "Inclined Plane". He then drew an example of an inclined plane, the ramp, & then listed a steep road as another example. We then glued a photo of a roller coaster & labeled that.

Unfortunately, he spelled roller coaster wrong & I didn't see it before he went over it in marker...oh well!

Tomorrow we will do our final day of school for the week & will be discussing Wedges if you want to check back & work on your own Machine chart.

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